By Emre Bilginoglu, Attorney-at-Law, Istanbul, Turkey
The Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC) is cooperating with the FBI in the States, through its recently established sports betting investigative unit, on allegations of e-sports match-fixing and illegal betting in Counter-Strike competitions, which offer millions of US dollars in prize money.
These allegations include accepting bribes from betting syndicates to fix matches, with some players deliberately losing.
Many players have been banned for corruption so far, but, apart from that, the criminal law aspect of e-sports match-fixing is starting to attract some media attention.
Two years ago, 6 e-sports players were arrested in Australia for illegally betting on their own defeats and deliberately losing.
The latest data demonstrates that yearly wagers in e-sports total up to US$15 billion. This represents an incredible increase from $5bn in 2016.
ESIC Commissioner, Ian Smith, remarked that his organisation was working with the FBI not only to look at “players doing it off their own bat opportunistically” whom he described as “idiots” but also match-fixing that has been “going on for longer [and is] much more organised.”
Players who are found to have been engaging in match-fixing can expect to face lenghty bans.
The fast-paced growth of the e-sports betting market justifies its careful supervision in the interests of fairness and the integrity of e-sports.
Emre Bilginoglu, who is also admitted to practise Law in the State of New York, USA, may be contacted by e-mail at ‘email@example.com’