Unbelievable Sports Game has Online Casinos Crying Conspiracy - Saturday 12th of March 2005

A recent UEFA Cup match between Greek side Panionios and Georgia's Dinamo Tbilisi has online casino sports bookies questioning if the game wasn?t fixed. Betting patterns were all over the place during this incredibly volatile game. At half-time, Panionios was losing 0-1. Then by some miracle they came back to score 5 goals and win 5-2 against Dinamo Tbilisi causing an uproar among online casinos. It seemed unbelievable tat such a huge turnaround could be made and some online casino bookmakers are calling it a fix.

"I have no doubt that this was a betting coup," said Graham Sharpe at William Hill.? But whether it was a betting coup based on a fixed result is another matter. You often see unusual betting patterns that you can subsequently put down to a bandwagon effect.
This was a worldwide coup," said Caspar Hill at Betfair, an online casino broker for net gamblers.

Odds offered on Betfair for Dinamo Tbilisi leading at halftime and going on to lose went from a relatively normal 36-1 down to 5-1 before kickoff, while the odds on Panionios winning came in from 4-7 to 1-4. "To have so many people calling up asking about a 5-2 result is very unusual to say the least," Hill added. This is at the heart of the matter and the reason some online casinos and online sports bookies are calling it a fix.

"My own view is that the traditional bookmakers were getting worried and tried to hedge their positions with Betfair." Normally, a UEFA Cup Group D match played by two unglamorous clubs in front of 2,500 fans in Athens would not attract much attention but because of the online casino betting it has gained much more focus.

"A few years ago this match would have been inconsequential but we now have clients in these markets and feel obliged to offer odds," said Sharpe, who added that his company had lost almost $20,000. UEFA officials said on they would look into the claim and launched an official investigation.

Hill of Betfair explained "Unlike traditional bookmakers, our technology allows us to have an audit trail," he said. "We have a number of agreements with sporting bodies such as the English FA and Jockey Club which allows us to share the names of the people who have had a bet.?

"We were talking to UEFA about signing such an agreement last week. We could still show them the graphs of the betting patterns but without the agreement we can't give them the names because of the Data Protection Act.?
 

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