[image credit : Betgenius]
Betgenius, the sports betting subsidiary of Genius Sports Group, has admitted that it was the victim of fraud, after a series of matches scouted by the supplier were found to have been organised fraudulently.
The games in question involved lower-league Ukrainian teams, in an event promoted on social media as the Azoz Cup.
Betgenius said the matches appeared to be scheduled and advertised via official sources as cup fixtures between professional clubs, and employed a local statistician to capture data on the games.
However, with Ukraine in lockdown as a result of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, these could not take place, and were not sanctioned by the Ukrainian Association of Football (UAF).
While some media reports described the games as ‘ghost games’ – matches ‘played’ using falsified data to defraud bookmakers – Betgenius denied this.
The supplier pointed out that its match security protocol requires statisticians to create visual and audio recordings to verify that a game is actually taking place.
“Therefore we can confirm that games did indeed take place, however we now understand that these games were not played in an official capacity and may have been conducted in a fraudulent manner, likely by a criminal group,” it said.
“Unfortunately it has come to light that we, along with many of our sportsbook customers, were the victim of fraud.”
Betgenius pledged to support the UAF and local law enforcement in their investigation of the matches in question.
“Protecting the integrity of sport is central to a fair, transparent and sustainable sports betting ecosystem and Genius Sports is committed to maintaining the highest standards in securing the integrity of sporting events,” Betgenius said.