Recently we had the news reports regarding a supposed involvement of professional tennis players in another case of match fixing in sports. The mob was connected to over 100 tennis players, one of them, inclusively, that was amongst the top players of the ATP tennis Rankings.
Match fixing: Understand the situation
On Monday, December 16th, 2019, a German TV channel called ZDF and the newspaper Die Welt announced a report regarding a match fixing scandal involving 135 professional tennis players from several countries.
According to those media outlets, the investigation is being led by the FBI and it involves a mob of Armenian bettors.
In fact, you can’t call those individuals bettors, because that would put us on the same level as those bandits.
This gang would have a great “work” structure, not really having the same usual characteristics of these groups that invest heavily on fixed matches and end up being investigated by these big organizations.
Their method consists in an immensely larger betting volume than usual, avoiding the investment of big amounts on a single event but instead focusing on small stakes in several matches considered to be “small”.
The mob would get in touch with professional tennis players, through “agents” that take care of making the offer and agreeing the value that the athletes will receive for their performance.
The press also highlights that the investigation led by the FBI is focused mainly on France, Belgium, Spain and the United States.
Another serious accusation was the involvement of a top-30 tennis player from the ATP rankings on this match-fixing.
The name of the athlete wasn’t disclosed. However, the media outlets discovered that he had won 3 ATP tournaments throughout his career.
According to Eric Ziscchop, Belgium’s vice-attorney, responsible for the investigation, this Armenian mob involves 7 European countries and organizes large scale frauds.
The Argentinian Marco Trungelliti gave an interview to the German newspaper and his statement was simply disturbing for those that invest their money in this sport:
“There are tennis players amongst the top-50 that have fixed matches. It can’t be said that fixing is only going on in the lower levels, it happens in every level.”
Match fixing became a fever
There are two feelings when this sort of news of a strong match fixing scheme appear on the professional level.
Firstly, a satisfaction due to the criminals who were convicted that were ruining sports in general.
However, there is a feeling of uncertainty regarding our actions within sports betting. How many times have you thought a completely unexpected result was in fact a “fixed match”?
I confess that when this sort of thing happened, I was the first to say: “This has got to be fixed”.
That’s because of a natural frustration, but then we can identify mistakes, both in terms of our analysis and the pure randomness of the events within a match.
These mobs bring you losses, because you spend your time every day studying for a match, you win money investing on an athlete that internally knows he won’t play at his maximum potential.
During the last couple of decades, there have been several reports about match fixing in sports, on the several fields of sports worldwide. From youth football to the rich and glamorous Italian Serie A.
It becomes clear that these mobs are able to perform better when they get in touch with athletes that don’t win a lot of money, which means, we have to be more cautious when we get involved in competitions with low liquidity, those that have less money wagered and therefore are less supervised.
Generally, these leagues are the ones where the odds move only slightly, since there isn’t a lot of money coming in on either side.
A lot of time, we see complete underdogs with very high odds beating the super favourites.
I get less and less interested in going deeper on this kind of betting areas, precisely due to how difficult it is to analyse the condition of teams and athletes, and because of their vulnerability with enticement from external sources.
I don’t take away the credit of those that are specialized on alternative markets, smaller leagues and sports that are almost forgotten by the general public. These bettors have a very good feeling, even to filter great betting options and valuable odds.
This is a very personal opinion, because it bothers me when this kind of news blow up on our face.
It shows us that we are only a small particle on this universe, that can easily be manipulated, and if some can win money with it, getting lucky and betting on the underdog, most of the other bettors lost their investment.
Due to the dishonesty of these gangs and “professional athletes”.