One of the world’s best experts in match-fixing tracks suspicious game on twitter and lectures American cops
Chris Kronow Rasmussen explained BetON how to detect a fixed match, where the dirtiest soccer lives and how money is laundered through bookies. Declan Hill, the author of bestselling “The Insider’s Guide to Match-Fixing in Football” labels Chris Rasmussen as one of the best experts in match-fixing in the world.
What’s your current activity? How did you get into match-fixing and money laundering investigations?
I work as a Lecturer at the University of New Haven, where I teach the students in sports betting and how to detect money laundering and match-fixing in primarily the odds movements. But also in basic odds compiling, how to make a book, how risk management in sports betting is done today.
What tools do you use to detect fixed games? Soft, sites?
I use different odds compiling sites, betbrain, nowgoal, betapi and then I have my own excel sheet with in-play algoritms. A also use betting forums and social media to detect if the odds movements are by public bets etc.
Can you describe a typical scheme of match-fixing? Like from A to Z.
I can describe the scenarios in the odds movements. If we talk about the players and how organized crime is using either soccer, tennis or table tennis (all sports pretty much, where there is betting) then there is not typical. Of course there is different scenarios, but it can be fixing by referees, players, other officials, the club owner etc. It is kind of complex. But odds wise it starts with the price setting from a bookmaker. Prices are made differently but showing the expected possibilities for the teams. Then sometimes the odds for either home or away win (including handicap betting) is moving in a particular direction.
The same goes for totals; maybe the odds move from 2.00 to 1.60 for over 2.5 goals. Then the investigation for why punters keep placing bets for something where there is no expected value. Why place bets, when the math is really against you? That’s something we look into. It could be that the price is moving to team news, change of field, weather forecast etc. There is plenty of reasons. However, when the punters keep placing money despite the odds is against the logic, and far away from the calculated in-play odds we find that suspicious.
Then there is a range of suspicion. We try to see the limits from different bookies and then align the price movements to detect the range of suspicion. I have like a traffic light, going from yellow, orange to red. The yellow is teams and odds movements I will put on a watch list, orange is up to 95% sure of a fix. Taking into consideration the price movements and the limits, as well amount placed on exchanges.
The same goes for red which is the last percent from 95 to 99. And then you might say, why not 100. Well, in my view we cannot rely on odds movements, limits etc to say it is a sure fix. We can say we are coming pretty close.
What’s the difference between orange and red suspicious matches?
Going from orange to red is in my little book, when there is a higher percentage dropping odds – I am though also looking at each league, so kind of complicated. There are not going as much money to move Vietnam U19 than to Belgium second division. Etc
Also the access to place money on the illegal markets, such as the Asian or other offshore bookies if you are looking at your local markets it would be easier to detect who has placed the money and where. Now we see maybe 80-90 percent is going to be placed outside where the fixing is taking place. Thats almost an impossible task so better local monitoring and better share of information between countries and then it has to be independent
Recently where were a lot of articles on match-fixing in Sweden. The situation seems to be out of control. Is it true? What is the source of the problem?
Well, it of course hard to say. But it is undoubtedly a bit issue in Sweden. A lot of matches seems to have been fixed, actually since at least 2010 where I started for real in the industry. One of the bigger issues from my view is that the problem wasn’t really addressed. People looked the other way, saying we don’t have a problem.
Who’s backing match-fixers? I read that match-fixing in Sweden is run from the Balkans.
I would agree with the link to Balkan. However, match-fixing comes in many ways, also in Sweden. Some is organized crime with possible links to Balkan and more lonely wolfs that are acting alone.
I’ve seen your post on LinkedIn about final exam in the course Sports Gambling Markets. Who are the students – policemen, bookmaker staff, lawyers? Where will they apply their knowledge?
It is mostly students who wants to work as policemen who then have a insight in the gambling world. It is also very well needed. I do think that Germany is pretty much the only country (sorry for the ones I have missed) where there is dedicated resources that have real knowledge about match-fixing and money laundering in the betting world. For example in Denmark we recently had a case where the betting companies had to explain the difference between a red and yellow card.
Can you give some examples of the exam tasks?
Analysis of possible fixed matches or not fixed matches, where they need to explain how they see the odds movements on a given match/event.
What tournaments you can call the dirtiest right now? Where are the epicenters of match-fixing?
Well, at the moment, both Armenia and Vietnam seems to have a lot of suspicious matches. The same time a lot of friendlies appears to have been set up to be more perfect for gambling than actual practice.
Have you detected any suspicious activity in Belarus recently? Maybe some cases from Russia?
I have seen a few suspicious matches, also from Russia including everything from table-tennis (a tournament in Russia), football to basketball.
What’s is a proper punishment for match-fixers? Jail, fines, ban to work in football in any way?
It depends on what a level the fixes is on. Are you high-level fixer with plenty of matches behind you, jail is undoubtedly the way to go and a ban for being involved in any kind of sport. If that’s a football player doing something for the first time, maybe something with a year ban or similar could be the punishment.
Have your investigations ever led to legal action like ban or even criminal process?
Have earlier been involved in some Swedish cases, actually back in 2014-2015.
Do you collaborate with bookies?
Not on a regular level. I sometimes send some information to former colleagues, but I keep the data to use in the lessons. Also to keep me sharp and see where fixing is going on.
Money laundering is declared as your competency as well. Do bookmakers take an active role in money laundering or they are involved unwillingly? Can you describe the scheme of money laundering through bookmakers?
My best guess is both. Money Laundering can be done in many ways, both off and online. Offline it merely is to bet in shops (for the countries which allow retail betting) to achieve the betting slips to have a trail for their winnings. It can be all kind of betting slips, low odds or buying the winning slips from the retailer etc. Online pre-paid card is often used, actually sometimes without place any big bets, but lets say €10.000 in prepaid card into an online account and then take it out after some months without too much activity. There are plenty of more ways, as many ways of doing money laundering as as many people are doing it.
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