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Illegal Wagering and Match Fixing Rocks South Korean Sports

Feb 28, 2012

Match-fixing in South Korea
South Korea

South Koreans face tough punishments for illegal wagering and match fixing

Hot in the casino gambling news this week, is the story that has rocked South Korean sports across the country. Reports out of Seoul this week, confirmed that the South Korean government is not taking the recent spate of illegal gambling wagers on match fixed sporting events lightly.

It appears as though South Korean authorities are seeking punishment methods of the highest order, to reprimand cheating sport-stars and gamblers with, after the recent scandal.

It all began last spring with a harmless snowballing match being rigged, and continued into May with several of the South Korean football league’s professional stars being hauled in by prosecutors for fixing games.

It is widely believed that several of the players were paid off by middleman, some are believed to be former players, who work for crime bosses, running illegal gambling internet sites, and make a killing on the results.

At present up to eighty former players have been charged with match fixing in the scandal, with 50 banned for life, in what is seen as the worst event in South Korean football K-League’s 29 year life span.

Digging a little deeper prosecutors suddenly realized that there was more than meets the eye to the match fixing scandal however. It was revealed recently, that match-fixing isn’t just centered around football or snowballing, but is also laced and interwoven into many sports in the Asian nation, with prosecutors calling it an endemic.

Motorboat racing, basketball, e-sport and e-leagues have been given bad press recently for possible links to match-fixing and bribery. Sports Toto, which is South Korea’s only officially licensed gambling site has been cleared of any charges, however the Korean institute of Criminology, says that there are several illegal online sportsbooks out there, which take bets on the rigged games.

A vast majority of fixed wagers have been caught by bets on almost impossible odds. When several people have bet on the amount of first-inning walks fielded by a starting pitcher, and they win, the game is up. Sports Toto, feel as though there is little they can do to stop the gambling zone like casino sites, online blackjack etc., because the sites are offshore, and if checked, the owners pull the plug and set up shop elsewhere.

In a bid to crack down on match-fixing, Korean officials have offered whistle blowing rewards to any spotters, and leniency for anyone who admits to committing the crime in the past. The South Koreans have also stated that anyone found guilty of match-fixing could possibly face harsh prison terms and life bans from sports.

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