Casino Watch Focus has reported many times on the impact that babbling has on major sporting events like the Super Bowl and the NCAA College Basketball Tournament. Even though these events have a global reach, their impact on sports and gambling culture world-wide seldom rises to the level of the World Cup. This year is expected to produce a record amount of gambling on the World Cup held in Brazil begging June 12. The Wall Street Journal reports:
Unibet, an online betting company that reached a record level of 552,338 active customers during the UEFA Champions league, expects a significant rise during the World Cup.
Unibet Group Plc predicts gambling soccer fans will flock to its websites as the World Cup kicks off in Brazil on 12 June, adding to record customer numbers in the first three months of the year.
The latest edition of the soccer World Cup, in South Africa in 2010, drew 3.2 billion viewers worldwide, with more than 900 million watching at least part of the July 11 final between the Netherlands and Spain.
The amount of illegal betting on the World Cup is also expected to boom. Several sources indicate that countries like China, Malaysia and Thailand will face the biggest challenges in regulation and could all see a dramatic increase in the amount and scope of illegal soccer related gambling arrests. Given the overwhelming amount of gambling expected from FIFA’s World Cup, concerns over match fixing have also increased. The Sunday Express explains:
Just weeks before the tournament opens in Brazil on June 12, a former Interpol chief has warned that brazen criminals will not be deterred, even with the eyes of the world looking on.
Fifa’s own security director has admitted “dead rubbers” toward the end of the group stages are among those most vulnerable, though football’s governing body is “confident” steps taken to combat corruption will ensure the integrity of the competition.
Former Interpol president Khoo Boon Hui claims the “fixers” will not think twice about attempting to rig games. It said around £84billion was being laundered through betting; 80 per cent of it through illegal channels.
Fifa’s director of security Ralf Mutschke acknowledged an event of the magnitude of the World Cup would be targeted by fixers.
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