The FBI Is Investigating Illegal CS:GO Match Fixing

The FBI is now involved in an investigation relating to match-fixing and illegal betting in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive [via Kotaku].

Match fixing and illegal betting is becoming an increasing problem within the Counter Strike community. The practice has already been uncovered in Australia, with Victoria Police and the ESIC [Esports Integrity Commision] working together to investigate the criminal offences.

Ian Smith, the commissioner of ESIC, recently gave an interview with CS:GO and Valorant YouTube producer ‘slash32’. In the interview, Smith identified that there is a large match fixing scandal being uncovered in the North American MDL [Mountain Dew League].

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Smith said: “We have a very focused investigation where we have really good corroborating evidence from Discord and various chat log screenshots and recordings of players that we are going to ban for a very, very long time as a group.”

The initial investigation is ongoing into a small group of players. Smith reckons that the ESIC will be able to act quickly and go public with their findings within the next 10-14 days.

“It is part of a far bigger investigation which is going to take us a little bit longer, unfortunately. There has been amongst a relatively small but significant group of players over a long period of time – organised match fixing in North American MDL [Mountain Dew League],” Smith continues.

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“It’s been going on for longer and it’s much more organised.”

While the offences in North America are similar to those uncovered in Australia, Smith says that it’s actually much more serious: “ It’s what i would describe as classic match fixing – in other words, it’s players being bribed by outside betting syndicates in order to fix matches rather than players just doing it off of their own backs opportunistically. 

“It’s been going on for longer and it’s much more organised.”

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The FBI are involved in the ESIC’s investigation, but since sports betting was only made legal in the US fairly recently, Smith says that they’re finding it difficult to really get the investigation going.

Smith continues, saying: “We’re working with the FBI who only recently have had a sports betting investigative unit within the FBI. They’re good but they’re inexperienced. Sports betting has never been a big thing in America until recently, and so everybody’s kind of finding their feet on that one.”

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