- FBI Creates New Department Geared Toward Sports Betting Fraud
New Anti Sports Betting Corruption Unit Created Within FBI
- The FBI will now be monitoring sporting events involving American athletes, looking for any corrupt or suspicious activities.
- The 2021 Summer Olympics will be the first big competition that the Sport and Gaming Initiative of the FBI will be watching closely.
- This department will cover sports across the board, including esports tournaments, to ensure the integrity of the games does not hinder sports betting activities.
WASHINGTON – The United States Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) has created a task force that’s sole purpose is to ensure that no corruption is taking place in the world of sports.
Elements of investigation include match-fixing and using performance-enhancing drugs to up an athlete’s chances of winning.
The FBI has become a part of this business as more and more states regulate sports betting and issues such as these affect sports wagering. In fact, most of the time it’s been done on purpose to do exactly that.
After passing the Rodchenkov Anti-Doping Act in December of 2020, the Bureau decided to open this new department. The law, now known as Public Law No. 116-206, came to be once it was realized that Russia had been administering performance-enhancing drugs to all of their athletes, like those competing in international competitions.
What Will This Task Force Do?
Regulated sports betting in the United States is a billion-dollar industry and the government would like to keep the integrity of the sports intact to keep the market afloat. The Sport and Gaming Initiative is the name of the new unit that is being headed up by Joseph Gillespie.
Their first investigation provided help with the Parlay Patz case.
“These types of laws are helpful in terms of creating some kind of definition of the crimes. But their bark is often way worse than their bite,” said Mark A. Drumbl, director of the Transnational Law Institute at the Washington and Lee School of Law. “You can’t bring a case if you don’t have evidence. Without the transfer of people, information, witnesses, it leads to nothing.”
While “doping” is one thing that will be investigated by the FBI, all other forms of suspicious or fraudulent activity in American sporting events or events involving American athletes will be monitored because online gambling has become so big in the U.S.
“The Rodchenkov Act is now the ‘doping sword of Damocles’ hanging over the heads of the doping orchestrators who know that sooner or later they will be punished,” said Drumbl. “I do firmly believe that this law, and the U.S. Department of Justice and FBI, will bring a new day of real change, deterrence and justice to world sport.”
While the Parlay Patz case was the first real case where the FBI’s Sport and Gaming Initiative could get its feet wet, its first big event will be the 2021 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
Although Russia has been banned from participating, they will have neutral athletes in the competition all vying for a medal. It’s at this time that the task force will really be put to work since first being created.
With their help, all sports bettors in states with regulated betting will be wagering on competitions that are will be fairer in making sure bets are not fixed and just the luck of the draw, as they should be.