OSLO - Every weekend, across, Europe, hundreds of thousands of footballers play local football for fun.
Yet around 2,000 of their games at a semi-professional and amateur level are available to bet on with mysterious illegal betting companies in the Far East.
Often linked to organised crime, these opaque betting hubs exist in isolation from the game’s authorities and the police and never reporting any suspicious bets that may indicate match-fixing. As a result, this is where match fixers and organised crime go to place their bets after corrupting games.
This project brought together journalists from Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, England, France, Norway and Poland in search of the data scouts who collect the live information from local level games that makes these in play bets possible.
The project scraped data from international betting sites, while journalists found scouts at a vast array of games from the lower leagues in Poland to amateur reserve women’s games in Belgium and seventh tier matches in England. Clubs at this level were also polled and few even knew the scouts were there or how their matches ended up on betting markets.
This project found information collected by data companies presenting two faces: that of the wholesome integrity partner that works hand-in-hand with the game’s authorities and also as suppliers to the global betting industry.
Photo credit: Samindra Kunti
- Podcast: Matchfixing: Auf der Spur der Daten-Scouts #47 - ballesterer podcast 01 October 2023
- Amateur hour - Josimar Football 11 October 2023
- 1XBet, le bookmaker illégal qui joue quand même sur les pelouses françaises - Les Cahiers du football 16 October 2023
- The silent partner - Josimar Football 17 October 2023
- Betting lower and lower - Josimar Football 24 October 2023
- Ook op verboden site kan je gokken op Belgisch amateurvoetbal - Apache 03 November 2023
- Zhoubné bujení match-fixingu - Football Club 21 September 2023
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