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Published: April 2, 2021

Written by: Stefan Velikov

  • Match-fixing continues to plague Counter-Strike betting
  • Australian police have been long battling this trend, but it’s direr in the USA
  • FBI has moved in to help cracking down match-fixing in the USA but is still inexperienced 

Match-fixing in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive attracts efforts against it from law-keeping forces in both Australia and the United States. Now the FBI is getting involved.

The Severe Problem of Match Fixing in Esports

The Australian police’s endeavors in eliminating illegal gambling and match-fixing in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive continues as the FBI picks on the United States problem. However, despite the organizations’ best efforts, the problem persists. 

Ian Smith revealed this in an interview with YouTuber slash32. Smith is the commissioner of the Esports Integrity Commission. He has dealt with similar cases before in Australia. However, in the interview, Smith emphasized that the problem’s nature is different in Australia and the United States. 

In Australia, match-fixing has been long a criminal offense and is therefore done on a much smaller scale and is more focused on personal gain. 

Smith told of a story where the ESIC worked with the Australian police and busted an organization of 42 people. The commissioner said that only a few were really involved in fixing matches and manipulating outcomes out of those. 

Classic Match-Fixing and Innovative Solutions 

In stark contrast with the United States, Smith describes it as a “classic match-fixing.” Unfortunately, this type is much more organized and is all about syndicates bribing players to get the desired outcomes.

Smith and the ESIC have been working with the states’ police forces to investigate a “relatively small but significant group of players” who have been involved in fixing matches in the North American MDL. Even the FBI eventually was wrapped up in the case. However, their successes there were limited. Smith said that the FBI is really good at their job but is still inexperienced and not very familiar with illegal sports practices and their operation.

This is to be expected as until 2018, and sports betting wasn’t legal at all in the United States. In Smith’s words, everybody there is currently “still finding their feet.” It’s more difficult there as every state has its own laws and customs. 

The Upcoming Charges in Australia and Smith’s Opinion 

The charges for Australian match-fixing perpetrators will be announced in a couple of weeks. Many people were banned for various kinds of gambling crimes. Some had yearly infractions because they were betting on their own matches, with some of them even betting against their own team. 

Smith mentioned that there was a long trail of evidence in-game chats and Discord messages that helped the peacekeeping forces. He considers the perpetrators to be amateurs as they weren’t secretive enough and were busted easily. 

Smith concludes that betting is an irreplaceable part of esports that, unfortunately, brings as much “bad” as it brings “good.” The ESIC commissioner claims neutrality on the topic. 

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