Five men have been charged with match-fixing offences by Victoria Police as part of Australia’s first criminal investigation into esports.
The investigation, led by detectives from the Victoria Police Sporting Integrity Intelligence Unit, started in March 2019 after police received information from a betting agency about activity linked to online matches of a Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) tournament.
Assistant Commissioner, Neil Paterson, told 7.30 last September police believed as much as $30,000 had been won betting on the fixed matches of the semi-professional esports league, with the maximum penalties for the offences totalling 10 years’ imprisonment.
A 20-year old man from Mill Park in Melbourne’s outer-north has now been charged with two counts of engaging in conduct that corrupts or would corrupt a betting outcome, two counts of using corrupt conduct information for betting purposes and possessing cannabis.
Two other 20-year old men from Mill Park and another 20-year old man from nearby suburb South Morang have also been charged with three counts of using corrupt conduct information for betting purposes.
Finally, a 27-year old man from Sale in Victoria’s east has been charged with five counts of using corrupt conduct information for betting purposes.
The men will face court in September.