Five Australian men have been charged with match-fixing offences following a year-long investigation, Victoria Police have announced. The charges, which are the first of their kind in Australia, are linked to five matches in a semi-professional esports league, where the players allegedly threw matches to gain winnings from bets placed on them.
Following the initial investigation by the Victoria Police’s Sporting Integrity Unit in August 2019, six people were arrested. Five of the six men, who are aged between 20-27, have now been charged with the use of corrupt conduct information for betting purposes. This offence can result in up to ten years imprisonment in Australia.
One of the men has also been further charged for “conduct that corrupts or would corrupt the betting outcome of an event or event contingency,” as well as being in possession of cannabis.
Last year, Neil Patel, the assistant commissioner, told ABC News they began investigating the group following a tip-off by an betting firm. The group allegedly made $30,000 in this time.
The men will face court in Melbourne and Sale on September 15.