Four employees of a Texas company called Fidelity were fired for playing fantasy football at work. Fantasy football involves creating virtual teams out of pro football players, then using the real player’s statistics to determine the results. Pooled money from all participants provides prizes. A Fidelity spokesperson claims the company has strict rules against gambling.
Reuters: Fantasy sports at work spark concerns after report
Fantasy sports leagues are up in arms after news got out that a company called Fidelity Investments recently fired four employees for playing fantasy football while at work.
President of The Fantasy Sports Trade Association Paul Charchian said on Wednesday that the association is concerned that the incident marks the start of a battle between employers and the popular pastime of internet sports betting. Charchian cited a June survey that found 29 million people played fantasy sports in the United States and Canada in the past year, up from 20 million people in 2007.
Fantasy sports games revolve around the statistics or actual professional athletes. Players put together a virtual team and convert the stats of each player into online points, winning money when their “team” performs well. The money comes from participants who pool funds to fuel the games. Many offices tolerate fantasy games, and some even encourage them as morale-builders. Others question shether these games amount to gambling in the true sense.
Cameron Pettigrew, a manager at Fidelity’s Westlake office in Texas, along three other employees were fired by Fidelity for participating in the fantasy sports. A Fidelity spokeswoman said “We have policies in place that address a variety of professional conduct standards for our employees”.
Few details have been released concerning how Pettigrew’s league worked or why Fidelity may have objected to it.
Boston Herald: Fidelity fires 4 in fantasy football
Fidelity Investments in Texas reportedly fired four employees for participating fantasy football while at work.
Cameron Pettigrew, a manager at Fidelity, told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram how he and three other employees lost their jobs at the Boston-based mutual fund corporation.
Pettigrew, who worked for Fidelity for 2 years before losing his job, could not be reached for comment.
Vin Loporchio, a spokesperson for Fidelity, said that the company does not comment on current or former employees “out of respect for their privacy and confidentiality,” and would not provide information.
“Our company policies address a variety of professional conduct standards for our employees,” Loporchio said yesterday in an e-mail to the Boston Herald. “Beyond that, however, we would not have anything to add.”
Loporchio told the Star-Telegram that Fidelity has “clear policies” relating gambling. “Participation in any form of gambling through the use of Fidelity time or equipment or any other company resource is prohibited,” the newspaper quoted Loporchio as saying. “We want our employees to be focused on our customers and clients.”
NBC Dallas/Fort Worth: Fired for Tackling Fantasy Football
A broker at a financial company in Westlake, Florida, claims that he lost his job for playing fantasy football while at work.
“I’m being 100 percent honest,” said Cameron Pettigrew. “It’s as ludicrous as it sounds.”
Pettigrew said his former employer, Fidelity Investments, let go of him and three others in October for organizing $20 fantasy football games. Fantasy football is a popular sports game in which participants bet on the performances of real football players.
“I loved my job at Fidelity,” Pettigrew said. “My whole argument is, the punishment didn’t fit the crime.”
Vin Loporchio, a spokesman for Fidelity told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that the company has a clear policy against gambling. “Participation in any form of gambling through the use of Fidelity time or equipment or any other company resource is prohibited,” said Loporchio. “We want our employees to be focused on our customers and clients.”
Pettigrew claimed to understand the company’s policy but didn’t think it was enforced. “We had people in management and leadership doing it, ever since the first day I was there,” he said. “I thought it was a rule nobody took seriously.”
Pettigrew is now unemployed and looking for work.
It is fashionable to speak of “dynasties,” i.e. multiple repeat title-winners, in many sports these days, but perhaps no championship is so susceptible to dominance by a single force as the Tour de France. The latest mighty ruler over the sport is this year’s winner Alberto Contador of Spain, who overcame Andy Schleck to take his third Tour in four years – and his third in three tries.
Though Contador managed to sport the yellow jersey from Stage 15, it was hardly easy going for the back-to-back champion. In Stage 3, Contador went down among the peloton in crash that would remove Frank Schleck from the competition altogether and set back the Spanaird’s chances for some time.
But Contador had been there before and he slowly chipped away at Andy Schleck’s lead, which the youth rider had regained in Stage 9. Stage 15 was key in the 2010 Tour de France and in fact Contador invited controversy when he forewent certain unwritten rules of sportsmanship to blow past Schleck as the chain on Schleck’s bike fell out. Though Contador apologized after the race, some former cyclists including Miguel Indurain came to his defense.
Schleck would fight back and take Stage 17, but since Contador finished mere seconds behind in the stage, it made little difference. At the end of Stage 19, Contador had built up a lead of 39 seconds and held that difference through Stage 20 for his second consecutive Tour de France win.
Contador now joins recent superstars such as Greg LeMond (Tour de France winner in 1986, ’89 and ’90), Indurain (’91 through ’95) and Lance Armstrong (’99 through 2005). The next dynasty may be Schleck’s, as the 25-year-old Luxembourger has now won three straight youth rider titles on the Tour de France.
In terms of odds, the bookmakers were again prescient, as the 4/7 odds on Contador held against Paddy Power’s proposition bet offering a 5/4 line on “the field.” In 19th place, John Gadret ended up the top Frenchman, a surprise to bookmakers who had him at 15/2 odds to be the tops from France in the race.
Mike McNally, a 29-year-old business graduate and football fan from Bradford, England, turned a £10 bet into £650,000 ($1 million) betting on World Cup at a popular online sportsbook in the UK. McNally correctly predicted the results of an incredible 36 out of the 64 matches of the 2010 World Cup, beating hundreds of other football fans from around the world who also entered the contest.
The win wasn’t secured until the final match. McNally and another participant were tied 35-35 until the Holland and Spain match. McNally picked Spain to win, while his rival had put his money on Holland. McNally must have been on the edge of his seat during the entire match, only relaxing after Andres Iniesta’s extra time goal for Spain put him in the lead.
“I was speechless when I learned I’d won,” McNally revealed. “I just wish England could have performed as well as I did.”
Punters who missed wagering on this year’s World Cup may feel left out after learning about McNally’s success, thinking about all the 2010 World Cup bets they could have made. This big football tournament series won’t be back until 2014, but in the meantime, there are thousands of bets offered every day at sportsbooks across the internet. Just check out the latest online sports betting odds, then put your money down to win.
While the final result and the final match of the 2010 FIFA World Cup wasn’t highly unexpected, the relative lack of clear-cut favorite throughout the tournament made for some big payouts for punters who bet correctly.
To start the tournament, Spain was a favorite at every sportsbook: The only variable were the odds, which ran at 4/1, 9/2 or 5/1. That’s at least $500 on a $100 bet just for picking the no.1 ranked team in the world going into the tournament. Even with eight teams remaining, Spain was still getting 11/4 odds at PaddyPower – a potential $375 more on a $100 wager.
Ladbrokes Sportsbook had finalists Spain and Holland at 2/1 and 13/2 to make the final match when the World Cup began. A $50 bet on each there earned clever bettors a total of $525.
As for individual matches, the biggest money was predictably made betting against the powerhouses. Those foolhardy enough to have wagered on Switzerland to beat Spain in their first game got odds of 11/1 at Brobury Sports for a huge $1,200 on $100 invested. And despite the terrible morale on Team France going into their third game, a South Africa win was still getting 11/5 odds at PaddyPower, for another $320 on $100 when the host nation defeated the champions of 1998.
Probably the biggest loss in the tournament was suffered by a bookmaker. Paddy Power had installed a money-back special for the World Cup, in which certain wagers would be returned on a 0-0 draw. England-Algeria in group play ended at 0-0 with millions bet by British punters and a sizable fraction returned on what normally would have been profit for the bookmaker.
But on our wagers, we just turned $500 into $2,920. See? Betting on the World Cup is easy. Good luck in 2014!
Would you believe that, with the 2010 World Cup, Wimbledon and Major League Baseball all in full swing, one of the most popular wagers on the Internet was on a grass-court tennis tournament in Rhode Island?
Neither does the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU), an independent investigative body, which has ordered an investigation into a match between Richard Bloomfield of Britain and Belgium’s Chistophe Rochus in which $1.5 million was wagered on Bloomfield at Betfair online sportsbook. Betfair reported the irregular activity to the TIU and is expected to hand over information on the specific bets made on Bloomfield.
Bloomfield began the Newport Hall of Fame grass-court tournament ranked no. 552 in the world, while Rochus was at no. 160. Bloomfield was getting odds of 1:1 to win the best-of-three set match the day before, but just hours before first serve, those odds had shrunk to 1:4. After taking the first set and live odds betting continuing to roll in, Bloomfield had odds of 1:8 on him.
Betfair spokesman Tony Calvin later explained to Associated Press reporters that “If people are willing to risk £4 pounds to win £1, that is indicative of a substantial gamble.”
No official word has been released on how much the “lucky” punters who backed Bloomfield won from Betfair, but estimates say it’s $600,000 minimum.
Bloomfield won the contest in two sets and is not suspected of any wrongdoing, despite a 2006 investigation in a similar situation – he won that match, too. “I don’t know what to say,” said Bloomfield. “I know England’s a big betting nation. It seems like every time I win a decent match, [controversy] comes up.”
One serious longshot and one dark horse remain among the 2010 World Cup final four, and if one of these two wins a few lucky punters will get some nice returns indeed. Even if the more highly regarded Holland or Spain hoists the Cup for the first time, though, the results will still be nice indeed for some.
Anyone with foresight enough to have bet on Germany at the start of the tournament is feeling pretty good right now. Now the hottest team left, BetUS was typical and offered a line of 14/1 on the Germans to win this thing – and eight goals in the past two games say they’ve got a shot. A $20 bet at BetUS Sportsbook in June could be worth a cool $280 on Monday.
Uruguay is the other surprise remaining in World Cup betting. Not only would a Uruguay victory in the championship represent the biggest upset ever, a mere $20 bet placed at Ladbrokes in early June will be worth a crazy $2,500.
As said before, either Holland or Spain will pay well in what was a fairly open tournament from the go with no true consensus favorite: Just last week, Netherlands was still getting 15/2 odds at BroburySports. Those doing their World Cup football betting at Bodog would have gotten 5/1 on Spain through most of the tournament.
Whoever wins the 2010 World Cup, two things are certain: This has been a great one, and some clever punters are going to be very happy with their sports betting expertise.
The question “How do you read NFL football odds?” can be answered in two different ways. One response would answer to the nuts and bolts of the question, explaining those actual slates of numbers. The other would be to attempt to explain, as we do in the United States, the deeper meaning in those numbers the online bookmakers provide.
Considering a few relevant examples will help us consider both questions.
All lines except for those on pointspread (or handicap) bets may be presented in any of three ways: fractional, decimal and American. Fractional is the classic 3/1 format; decimal format shows you the payout based on 1 unit out to two decimal points, so 3.00 for the previous example; American style shows the payout on 100 units, so the current example would be +300 in this format.
The very basic proposition bet in all of NFL betting is of course wagering on the Super Bowl winner. Currently last year’s finalists, the Indianapolis Colts and the New Orleans Saints, are the favorites to win Super Bowl XLV at 8/1 (8.00, +800) and 9/1 (9.00, +900), respectively, by PaddyPower bookmakers.
How do you read these particular odds? These numbers mean simply, “It’s too far in advance of the season, which begins in September, to make a realistic call so we’re going with the default choices.” You can also wager on each division winner and the conference winners at most sports betting websites, but such bets in June are strictly for loyalists.
The most popular NFL bets week to week are the pointspread and over/under lines. These are represented by a plus or minus followed with a number of points. The favorite always receives a negative number, the underdog is positive. This bet works the same way as a handicap in golf, so taking the underdog means adds points to the result of the game; in a close game, the underdog often “wins” at the bookmaker.
Over/under lines represent what the oddsmaker believes will be the total number of points scored by both teams in the game. Pick the over if you think the final score will add up to more than the bookmaker’s line, under for less.
At BetUS, odds are actually already posted for week one in the NFL. In the Oakland Raiders-Tennessee Titans game, the Oakland Raiders are the underdog with a +7 pointspread and there’s an over/under of 41 points.
How do you read these NFL football odds? Well, Oakland at +7 means the bookies figure the Raiders to be just as awful as they have been for seven seasons now, while the 41 over/under indicates that this game will be about as exciting as most fans would expect. You can bet on it.
For full reviews and detailed information visit our 2010 FIFA world cup betting odds section
The 2010 World Cup looks to be the single most wagered upon event in sports history, with over £1 billion in bets expected at online gambling sites and bricks-and-mortar bookmakers’ shops alone.
While the great majority of this will be placed by punters on the eventual tournament outcome and on individual matches, oddsmakers naturally offer a number of bizarre propositions on which riskier (or crazier) types may gamble.
If you’re one of those bored with the more traditional 2010 FIFA World Cup odds, check out some of these fresh alternatives.
• Total number of red cards given during the World Cup: over/under 19.5. Nobody really likes to see red cards on the football pitch: They do everything from slow down the game to ignobly end careers. Of course, one way to enjoy the referee’s moment of glory in this World Cup would be to bet on the outcome. How can you spot the fan who made this bet? He’s the only one cheering for the zebra!
• England is eliminated from the tournament on a penalty shootout: 4/1. Perhaps the most bet-upon side in the whole 2010 World Cup is England, which has even UK-based bookmakers worried that the country might get to relive the glories of 1966. On the other hand, there’s this prop bet, which will surely appeal to many cynical Brits.
• Any goalie scores in the tournament: 11/2. It’s never happened in World Cup history, but someday surely will.
• Diego Forlan of Uruguay scores the final goal of the 2010 World Cup: 500/1. This proposition is definitely not for the faint-hearted. Not only would Uruguay presumably need to at least make the World Cup final, striker Forlan needs to put in the game-winner. Either that or the punter is cheering for a lot of nil-nil shootout wins for the country that hasn’t won the tourney since 1950.
• Pick all 64 games correctly: €1,000,000. Titan Bet is offering this chance at riches, immortality and a genius label. And if someone picks “only” 49 games correct, that’s worth €250,000, too.
• North Korea to win: 2000/1 (or more). This line is Paddy Power’s and actually represents odds a bit shorter on North Korea than on many Internet gambling sites offering World Cup betting. All right, so this isn’t a bizarre proposition bet, but it would take a certain kind of punter to put any amount down on this all-time darkest of all dark horses.
Whether you’re betting soberly or crazily, enjoy the 2010 FIFA World Cup! And Gambling Results reminds all its readers to please bet responsibly.
Gaming group 888 has had a difficult 2010 and it seems things are only going to get worse. After releasing a profit warning showing that poker turnover had decreased by 18% between January and May, 888 now anticipates losing even more business during the 2010 World Cup this summer. While 888 blames an industry-wide decline, currency fluctuation and even illegal casino operators for their woes, some financial experts wonder if 888 is ripe for a takeover.
The Guardian: Gaming group 888 could attract predators after profit warning
After a gloomy warning from 888 spokespeople regarding revenue between January and May, the company has left itself vulnerable to takeover. Following up on a similar negative forecast released in April, 888 showed that the number of players at its poker website dropped by about 18% in the first five months of 2010.
Though 888 believes the downward trend to be industry-wide and that its own program of cost-cutting must be adhered to, spokesmen maintained that 888 would continue its strategy of acquisition – a plan 888 seems to be incapable of at present.
Rumors that bigger companies Party Gaming and/or Ladbrokes might make a bid at a takeover of 888 emerged while 888 stocks lost 21% of value on the day of the announcement to finish trading at 53.25p. Greg Johnson of investment banking services provider Shore Capital stated that Ladbrokes “needs greater scale in its online operation, in our view,” making 888 operation a perfect match.
This is London: 888 will spend World Cup behind the sofa as it predicts strain on profits
Internet casino 888 warned that the upcoming World Cup would actually be bad for its business, as its staple poker players are expected to be spending less time and money at the online poker tables and instead devote more energy to football. “Online gaming trading during the period of the World Cup will be difficult,” said 888 CEO Gigi Levy as he announced the profit warning.
Levy also stated that profits for 888 in year 2010 would be “significantly lower than previous market expectations” of $45.5 million.
As for the current drop in poker business at 888, illegal online operators in America were blamed for eating into profits, though the numbers show that high-rollers visit the site less frequently than ever. Levy also blamed currency fluctuation for its financial woes, stating that $5 million in revenue had been lost in 2010 so far because of exchange rates: Though 888 does most business in euros and pounds sterling, revenue is reported in terms of U.S. dollars.
The (London) Express: 888’s World Cup Fears
Online gaming company 888 Holdings issued a warning on profits yesterday in anticipation of casino gamers deserting the site to turn attention to the 2010 World Cup tournament: “Instead of staying in and using 888,” said one 888 spokesman, “people are more likely to go down the pub and watch the football.”
A pair of financial analysts offered harsh assessments of 888’s current financial state. One unnamed analyst stated that “The potential for 888 to be acquired has diminished,” while James Hollins of corporate advisory firm Daniel Stewart & Co. said that “888’s weak poker offering and lack of significant sports offering has worked against it.”
As the BP oil disaster unfolds in the Gulf of Mexico, Irish internet sportsbook Paddy Power is offering odds on which species the oil will drive to extinction first. Some have called the offerings irresponsible, saying that the attempt to profit from the disaster is in bad taste. Paddy Power responded by saying that they offer the odds in hopes of bringing attention to the issue.
The Wall Street Journal: Paddy Power Seeks To Cash In On Marine Life Extinction
Paddy Power may have crossed the line. In a recent press release entitled “Ridley Turtle Tipped For Oily Exit” Ireland’s biggest online sportsbook announced odds on which marine species will be the first to become extinct due to the oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.
Paddy Power insists that they are only trying to bring attention to the responsibilities of oil companies.
“The oil spill seems to be going from bad to worse with no end in sight,” says a spokesman for Paddy Power said, who denied that the extinction odds were in bad taste. “Hopefully our odds will bring home the imminent danger to such a varied mix of species dependent on the ocean.”
Unfortunately these words clash with the the tone of Paddy Power’s press release, which inserts humor in all the wrong places. For example, the statement quips about the Kemp’s Ridley Turtle, saying the fact that the species migrates through the Gulf of Mexico this time of year is “spectacularly bad luck”.
This is obviously a publicity stunt, and Paddy Power’s bottom line is to make money. Unfortunately, the fact remains that BP’s pipeline has yet to be fixed, and everyone involved is side-stepping the issue, refusing to accept responsibility.
New York Times: Website Offers Betting on Spill-Related Extinctions of Gulf Species
The online sports betting site Paddy Power is offering odds today on which marine species would be first to go extinct due to BP’s ruptured oil well in the Gulf of Mexico.
The Kemp’s ridley turtle, already an endangered species, is favored to go first. A $5 bet on the turtle would win $9 if it becomes extinct because of the spill. Other species like the gulf sturgeon, smalltooth sawfish and elkhorn coral have less probable odds, paying out at rates of 20-to-1.
Paddy Power hopes the offer will bring attention to the fact that the spill is an environmental catastrophe that will likely lead to the extinction of one or more species in the Gulf.
“We kind of have a very simple philosophy at Paddy Power — within reason if there is a very newsworthy event that are people are talking about, people should be allowed to back up their opinion with some cash,” said spokesman Ken Robertson.
The Chronicle Herald: Ruptured oil well threatens bluefin tuna
The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is threatening the Atlantic bluefin tuna, raising concerns about the future of the species in Atlantic Canada. The fish breed in the Gulf, but then follow the Gulf Stream north, along the Nova Scotia coast.
“There is an important rod-and-reel fishery and a significant tourism industry associated with the great fish during the fall season in the Maritimes,” said Reg Hartlen at H&H Fisheries in Eastern Passage.
Many people associated with Canada’s fishing industry first heard about the threat to the bluefin when Paddy Power online sportsbook gave odds on which species would become extinct first because of the disaster. The bluefin is listed as second most likely to face extinction, right after the Kemp’s ridley turtle.
“Anybody who knows anything at all about the importance of the gulf region to our fishery is watching this situation very closely,” said Stephen Kiley, a former Shad Bay charter boat captain.
“One of the worst environmental nightmares of our time is unfolding right now in the gulf. We’ll be living with it for years.”
Though still affected by the slumping worldwide economy, Sportingbet representatives were recently quite happy to announce the sportsbook’s profitable third-quarter results for the fiscal year. Key markets of Spain and Greece were unimpressive for Sportingbet, but a large influx from Australia proved to be the financial difference. The next year may be a bit difficult for the bookmaker, though, as new gambling laws in France are forcing the company’s withdrawal from that market.
Interactive Investor: Australia drives Sportingbet Q3
For the third quarter of its fiscal year, Sportingbet reported net gaming revenue to be up 29.8 percent to £55.7 million. Total bets in the period ending in April increased 22 percent to £521 million (approximately $750 million) wagered.
“Given the widely reported economic difficulties in Spain and Greece, which are two of our biggest markets,” said Sportingbet CEO Andrew McIver, “it is pleasing to report an 18 percent increase in profits.” Sportingbet business in Greece increased 8 percent, while Spain was stagnant for the bookmaker.
Sportingbet shares, which earlier in the week had hit a nine-month low at 57.5p, had rebounded by 3.7 percent to 62.5p on the morning of the announcement of results, valuing the company at £307 million.
McIver cited the advantages of geographical diversification business, and added that the company’s fourth quarter would be focused on the World Cup, repeating his comments of May that “much of how the remainder of this quarter performs will depend on the outcome of (the World Cup).”
In addressing next year’s results, Sportingbet stated that it would no longer be accepting bets from French players in light of the new licensing regulations for offshore online casino owners there. Sportingbet will apply for licensing in France, but due to the time involved plus some permanent loss of revenue, fiscal year 2011 is expected to be down for Sportingbet.
Financial Times: Australian profits drive Sportingbet
Since the Australian market showed in 19 percent raise in gross amount wagered in the third quarter of the fiscal year, Sportingbet was able to report a 13 percent jump in pre-tax profits.
Australian wagering at Sportingbet increased from £153.2 million to £182.1 million. Reasons given for the profitable quarter in Australia included “horse racing results that favored the bookmaker” and liberalization of advertising regulations in the country.
Sportingbet also reported weak intake from Spain and Greece, two markets that make up about 33 percent of Sportingbet revenue. For comparison, the bookmaker draws about 5 percent of its business from the U.K.
Sportingbet representatives also reported that they anticipate a further increase in revenues in the fourth quarter because of World Cup betting. Betting on soccer makes up 61 percent of sportsbook activity at Sportingbet.
Stock Markets Review: Sportingbet report Strong Q3 for sports and casino
Sportingbet’s fiscal results for quarter three were reported as strong, with net gaming revenue increasing 30 percent year-on-year (or 27 percent with exchange rate fluctuation taken into account). In addition to the excellent results in Australia, sports and casino growth in Europe was also called “strong.”
For Sportingbet, European sportsbook activity increased 21 percent YoY to £29.1 million. Casino gaming was up 17 percent to £11.6 million, with particular good results for the Sportingbet flash casino. Poker gaming at Sportingbet was down 10 percent YoY to £4.5 million.
With regard to the French market, Sportingbet indicated that it expected to receive sports, horseracing and poker licenses in early 2011 and that the company had already entered into marketing partnerships to advertise in “Le Monde” and “L’Express” newspapers.
The bitter fruit of soccer governing body UEFA’s labor is blooming in a Europe-wide probe across 12 countries to determine to what extent matches are being fixed for gambling purposes. It appears impossible to say whether UEFA’s efforts will or even can succeed before the 2010 World Cup kicks off in South Africa on June 11.
Sydney Morning Herald: Nine Swiss footballers suspended
Switzerland’s national soccer association has suspended nine players, including five for an indefinite period, for match-fixing as part of the Europe-wide UEFA probe.
The national league board said in a statement that “The Swiss Football Association is, according to current information, the first and only federation which has treated in the consequent manner the suspects of match-fixing made public in autumn 2009.”
None of the nine players suspended were in the top division of Switzerland football. The four players given sentences were banned from Swiss soccer for between 12 and 36 months.
The suspensions were the result of 50 raids in November in Austria, Britain, Germany and Switzerland in the probe’s first big move. In these 50 actions, over €1 million was seized. UEFA official stated that “Without doubt this is the biggest scam there has ever been in European football.”
Sports Illustrated: UEFA quizzes players at Hungarian champion Debrecen over suspected match-fixing
UEFA officials recently questioned eight players of Hungarian league champion Debrecen, which lost all six of its Champions League matches to Fiorentina, Liverpool and Lyon in the 2009-10 season, for which the club earned €9.2 million.
Though UEFA offered no comment as to the extent or subject matter of the discussion, Debrecen official Csaba Bartha did not make much of it, writing on the official club website that “the degree of seriousness of the matter is reflected by the fact that they didn’t even [transcribe] the statements.”
Debrecen is the second Hungarian club to come into question in this particular investigation, after UEFA looked into a suspicious Honvéd loss in November. More than 200 games are being considered for the possibility of match fixing in the UEFA investigation.
USA Today: World Cup arrives amid global match-fixing probes
Referees in Bosnia and Ukraine have been banned for life as part of a UEFA probe in a season when fixing matches has “spread more widely through football than ever.” UEFA President Michel Platini described the situation as seriously enough to put the sport itself in “mortal danger.”
Another threat to the integrity of soccer has arisen aside from the existing match-fixing problems has appeared as well. English Football Association chairman David Triesman stated that Russian criminal elements would be attempting to bribe referees to favor Spain in exchange for Spain’s support of the Russian bid to host the 2018 World Cup.
To prevent scandal from tainting the 2010 World Cup, FIFA officials created the company Early Warning, which would monitor any suspicious activity online concerning match outcomes. The World Cup is expected to generate about $3.4 billion for FIFA.
China is also taking on corruption in soccer at home, arresting among others Chinese Football Federation head Nan York and former World Cup referee Lu Jun.
The UEFA probe first began last year, when a “nest of corruption” was revealed to have involved matches in four World Cup nations (Germany, Greece, Slovenia, Switzerland) and six others (Austria, Belgium, Bosnia, Croatia, Hungary and Turkey).
With just a couple of weeks remaining until World Cup 2010 kicks off in South Africa, law enforcement agencies all over the world are getting ready for a potentially unprecedented amount of illegal gambling. Recently, police chiefs and other lawmen have been announcing their plans for cracking down on such activities in their home countries.
People’s Daily: HK police to intensify crackdown on illegal football betting, drink driving during World Cup
Tsang Tak-sing, Hong Kong’s secretary for the Home Affairs Bureau, stated this week that Hong Kong police would be intensifying law enforcement against both illegal betting and drink driving while the World Cup is being played. The Organized Crime and Triad Bureau is coordinating the efforts of the various regional agencies involved in the operation.
Hong Kong police have reportedly also been watching Internet gambling activity and are employing “cyber patrols” in an effort to fight illegal football betting online. Law enforcement actions may even take place outside of Hong Kong, should sufficient evidence be gathered linking such non-domestic websites to appealing to Hong Kong citizens.
Tsang also reported that Hong Kong police had arrested seven people in four different raids, with illegal gambling activities involved worth over HK$550,000 (approximately $70,500) in the first three months of this year.
Jakarta Post: Police on lookout for gambling ahead of Cup
Jakarta police authorities have announced their intensification of Internet surveillance in order to stop alleged online gambling, going so far as to monitor Facebook and other social networking sites.
Explained Jakarta police spokesman Sr. Commander Boy Rafli Amar, “We will find out whether virtual poker games played on social networking sites … involve gambling.”
In early May, two websites – IBCbet.com and Casino.SBObet.com – were shut down and their owner arrested on charges of illegally providing casino games and sports betting within Indonesia. The sites were thought to be making some $55,500 per day before the police action.
Bernama: Police To Combat Illegal Betting During World Cup
In Malaysia, local law enforcement agency CID has formed a distinct unit to deal specifically with illegal betting on the World Cup outcome and individual game results. Having just recently legalized gambling in the country, Malaysian police will now be concentrating on the unlicensed operators.
CID Chief Datuk Seri Bakri Zinin stated that even though the Malaysian government had issued gaming licenses to allow legal wagering during the 2010 World Cup, illegal betting syndicates will certainly take the opportunity to rake in profits illegally. “Anyone found betting or accepting such bets will be charged,” said Bakri, “and that also includes online betting.”
Bakri also stated that his taskforce would be looking for various forms of betting, as syndicates would devise many forms of betting in order to attract gamblers. He added that CID officers have already accumulated a list of suspects and probable operating locations in Malaysia.
In April, after a Florida man collected over $130K in winnings from his bookie, the bookie called Officer Villar, and arranged for the gambler to be pulled over. Villar, along with his cousin who was with him impersonating a cop, took the money from the man calling it “evidence” and fled the scene. Now, a month later, the three have been arrested for armed robbery.
The Miami Herald: Officer charged in $131K gambling rip-off
When Miami police officer John Francisco Villar Jr. pulled over a man on the Palmetto Expressway last month, he confiscated a bag filled with $131,000 in cash. The bag wasn’t evidence – Fillar was stealing it.
Villar was arrested on Tuesday. He, his cousin, and a third man who runs an online gambling site are being accused of orchestrating the robbery.
The story is as follows: Marvin Duarte was out collecting his winnings from his bookie, Leonardo Lastre. As Duarte was driving home, Officer John Villar pulled his unmarked Ford Taurus (license plate covered) behind Duarte’s car with his police lights flashing. Villar had plain clothes on, with his badge hanging around his neck. Also with him was his cousin, wearing a bullet proof vest with the word “police” across the chest. Villar inspected Duarte’s car, found the money, took it as “evidence”, and fled.
It was later discovered through phone records that Officer Villar was in touch with bookie Leonardo Lastre, with Villar basically acting as a hired thug who was sent out to retrieve the money.
“It’s sad that an officer would use his authority in order to commit such unlawful acts,” said Detective Bobby Williams.
The charges against Villar include felony armed robbery with a firearm, armed burglary and conspiracy to commit armed robbery.
NBC Miami: Crooked Cop Helped Bookie Rob Gambler: Report
A Miami cop was busted this week after police found out he worked with a local bookie to steal thousands of dollars from a gambler.
Officer John Villar, 28, was arrested after he and his cousin Fausto Villar (who is not a cop) pulled over the gambler in April using Villar’s unmarked police car. The gambler, Victor Duarte, was returning from a visit to his bookie, Leonardo Lastre, who had paid him $131,000 cash in winnings.
After Duarte left with his money, Lastre called Officer Villar with details about Duarte’s car and where he was headed. Villar pulled Duarte over and took the money, saying it was “evidence”. Duarte started to shout for help, but the men fled the scene.
Villar and his cousin, along with the bookie Lastre, have all been arrested. They face charges of armed robbery, armed burglary and conspiracy to commit armed robbery. Fausto Villar also faces charges of impersonating a police officer.
CBS 4 South Florida News: Miami-Dade Cop, Cousin Accused Of Robbing Gambler
A Miami-Dade police officer has been charged with using his gun and badge to steal $131 thousand in cash from sports gambler Victor Duarte. Duarte placed several bets with bookie Leonardo Lastre who operates an illegal gambling operation. After Lastre paid the man his winnings, he phoned Officer Villar, who then pulled over the gambler and stole the money back with the help of his cousin, who was impersonating a police officer.
According to an internal investigation by Miami-Dade police, Bookie Lastre and Officer Villar had been in contact several times before the robbery, planning the operation. It event turned out that some of the money in the bag that Villar stole was his own, and that he had placed it there while vising Laste the day of the robbery.
After the robbery, Duarte gave chase, but Villar got away. Soon Duarte saw a Florida State Trooper, and told him what happened. When the Trooper Matthew Mihm pulled Villar over a few minutes later, he noticed the license plate on his car had been covered. Villar’s cousin ran off on foot with the money, without Mihm noticing.
Eventually, officials learned the truth, and got a search warrant for Villar’s vehicle, where they found evidence of the crime. Villar, his cousin, and Lastre the bookie now face charges of armed robbery.
This Philippines pride is the best fighter alive today, compared to the likes of Muhammed Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard, and Marvin Hagler. Amazingly, Manny has won seven titles in seven different divisions.
Also known as the “king”, Mayweather has a stunning 40 wins by knock out and absolutely no losses. A fight between Pacman and the King would certainly be entertaining (see below).
Originally from sunny Pomona, California, Mosley has won titles in three weight divisions. He is also former WBA Welterweight Super Champion.
At 6 feet 2 inches tall, Paul is a giant for his junior middleweight, middleweight and welterweight divisions that he is a part of. For his quick, deadly punch Williams is dubbed as the most “avoided fighter in the world”.
This Mexican professional boxer is the current Lightweight World Champion. Pound-for-pound, Juan can take on anyone.
For betting on boxing matches check out these top sportsbook reviews
In a surprise move, Betfair has just added a sports betting app to Apple’s iPhone store, breaking down Apple’s anti-gambling policy. The new app uses geolocation and age verification to ensure only players who are allowed to bet on sports are able to do so. Apple has yet to offer an official statement, so it is possible that the app just slipped under the radar.
Geek.com: Did Apple just greenlight online gambling on the App Store?
You can’t have sex or nudity at the Apple App Store, but now you can bet on sports using your iPhone. Either this app submission slipped under the Apple censors’ radar, or they have relaxed their policies in order to make more types of software available.
Whichever the case may be, Betfair has just become the first gambling group to have its betting software (called Betfair Client) available at the store. According to EGR Mag, this development ushers in a new era for iPhone users:
Betfair’s mobile chief claims that Apple imposed “no terms and conditions” to regulate gambling applications. Despite this, the app only works in the UK and Ireland.
Apple has been very restrictive lately about what apps it allows, especially when they show skin or offer adult themes. They even removed apps provided by underwear sellers because they included images of scantily-clothed men and women in their shopping apps.
eGamingReview: Betfair gambling app marks Apple turnaround
Betfair recently became the first major online betting company to offer a gambling application through Apple’s iPhone App Store, marking a new stance on gambling apps from Apple.
The downloadable app, which Betfair’s exchange product, marks a change in Apple’s policies regarding gambling apps, which have not been allowed in the past.
Charles Palmer, head of Betfair mobile said: “There were no terms and conditions about gambling. We approached Apple with the proposal and our app, showing it does the normal KYC and age verification.”
The app is only available to customers in the UK and Ireland, and uses the iPhone’s built-in GPS to make sure bets are only placed from these areas.
“We have also added the ability to locate where the customer is. It can tell if you are in the UK or Ireland, and if you’re not, it won’t function. We put that in there as an extra precaution – they didn’t request that,” he said.
Computer Weekly: BetFair puts iPhone gaming app into Apple App Store
BetFair, one of the world’s biggest online sports betting operators, just launched an iPhone app that allows punters to bet on sports while on the move.
The launch is part of an attempt by BetFair to “mobilise” its business. The company already supports browser-based apps on Symbian, Blackberry, and Android, and they are working on spreading out even more.
The new app gives the company fine control over authentication and verification of bettors, making it almost impossible for under-age people to place bets. It also uses the iPhone’s GPS locator to only allow bets to be placed from authorized jurisdictions.
According to BetFair, mobile customers are up 40% from last year, with revenues from mobile customers up a full 50%.