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S’pore Pools to continue in-game bets

April 1, 2011 - 4:29pm



SINGAPORE Pools will continue to offer in-game betting on football, despite Fifa and Uefa's plans to limit the feature.

The world and European football bodies revealed last week that they are working on proposals to the betting industry to remove in-game betting.

The football bodies fear that matches are increasingly being corrupted by criminal gangs bribing players and referees.

Fifa legal director Marco Villiger told AP that it had become "very easy" to manipulate matches, through spot-fixing, and profit from in-game wagers.

Spot-fixing in this case refers to the pre-arrangement of the "next corner kick, throw-in, yellow card or penalty" – betting options available at many websites.

Since 2006, Singapore Pools has carried in-game betting options on the 1X2, "next team to score," half-time score and the Over/Under.

And Pools has no plans to stop offering these options "within established parameters", as it believes it helps combat illegal in-game betting "rampant in public places where illegal syndicates are known to ply."

Some European betting operators are also not in favour of banning live betting, as they believe it would only create a black market for those kind of bets.

On course

Villiger, however, maintained that the move was in line with a fight against illegal betting, and not betting in general.

The plan from Fifa and Uefa was revealed after a match-fixing scandal last month left four national teams angry and embarrassed.

Latvia, Bolivia, Estonia and Bulgaria were unwittingly lured to Turkey, allegedly by a Singaporean, who organised the friendlies and provided match officials who have since been suspended by their federations, to profit from betting coups.

Team officials asked Fifa and Uefa to investigate after all seven goals in two games in Antalya – Latvia v Bolivia and Estonia v Bulgaria – were scored from penalties.

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