Victoria Police announced on Friday afternoon announced that six Australians have been arrested in connection with an investigation into rigging Counter-Strike: Global Offensive matches, the first major case of its kind in Australia.
An investigation began in March this year after a betting agency tipped off police around suspicious activity around a CS:GO tournament. “It’s alleged that players were arranging to throw matches and subsequently placing bets on those matches,” Victoria Police said in a release.
At least five matches were affected by the activity, with warrants served and four men arrested on Wednesday. Another warrant was executed by Western Australian police in Perth, but no arrests were made there. Two more warrants were executed today in Mount Eliza, resulting in two more arrests.
Neil Paterson, assistant commissioner of Victoria Police, said the investigation was the first of its kind by the state. “Esports is really an emerging sporting industry and with that will come the demand for betting availability on the outcomes of tournaments and matches,” he said.
“These warrants also highlight that police will take any reports of suspicious or criminal activity within esports seriously, and we encourage anyone with information to come forward.”
All men arrested have been “released pending further inquiries”. Authorities added that detectives from the Organised Crime Intelligence Unit, who assisted the Sporting Integrity Intelligence Unit, are continuing the investigation and working with Sportsbet and other betting outlets.
More to come…