Day four of the SBC Digital Summit was focused on the sports betting industry, and the topic of match-fixing was a major point of discussion. Leaders in the sports betting industry are concerned that the coronavirus pandemic will lead to more matches being fixed.
Insiders were quick to point out that they have no proof that any matches have been fixed during the pandemic, but they are on high alert. The main reason is that most of the major sports leagues have been shut down, while smaller leagues have continued to play.
Match-fixing is much more common in the smaller leagues, where the players and matches are easier to be manipulated. With very little sports able to be bet on, bettors are also turning their attention to any matches that are being played.
Sportsbooks have started to offer bets on obscure events and leagues, and that gives fixers a chance to affect the outcome. The Belarusian League is one of the main leagues that was highlighted as a part of this discussion.
Insiders are also worried about the potential for match-fixing to occur after the coronavirus pandemic has ended. There are major financial complications from this entire pandemic, and bettors will be looking for a way to cash in.
Government officials often play a role in monitoring and recognizing match-fixing, but governments are now concerned with dealing with the coronavirus. There is hope that regulatory and industry bodies will work together to identify potential matches that can be fixed and work together to stop these efforts.
Bundesliga Delaying Restart to League
The German Bundesliga had planned to return to action on May 9, but now reports have surfaced that the date will have to be pushed back. The German government has not given the league the green light to resume play.
Leaders of the German government are set to host a video conference on May 6 to discuss the coronavirus pandemic and the effect on the country. There was hope that the government would discuss the Bundesliga in April, but it will now be pushed back.
ESPN sources have indicated that clubs are preparing for the resumption of play in May regardless of what happens at the video conference. Players and clubs have been training to be ready to play when given the go-ahead.
The Bundesliga has not played since March, and there are still nine match days left to complete the season. German football needs to finish the season before June 30 to stay out of legal trouble.
PSG Named Champions of Ligue 1
The Professional Football League in France (LFP) announced that the 2019-20 Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 seasons have been canceled. As a part of this announcement, Paris Saint-Germain has been named champions of Ligue 1. Lorient was named champions of Ligue 2.
This is the third straight season that PSG has won Ligue 1, but this one comes with some controversy. A performance-based index was used to determine that PSG was the deserving champion of Ligue 1.
There are several other teams that will be affected by the announcement to cancel the league. Several teams were either up for promotion or relegation from Ligue 1 or 2, and it is unclear what will happen to these teams.
The German and Spanish leagues are expected to resume at some point, but the government in France would not let their teams play. The LFP has announced that they plan on beginning the 2020-21 season near the end of August.