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Betting operators fear match-fixing

  • 2004-08-19
  • Baltic News Service
VILNIUS - A majority of betting operators in Lithuania recently refused to accept bets on the outcome of the UEFA Cup second qualification-round match between Vilnius Zalgiris and Denmark's AaB Aalborg teams, with many operators going so far as to cancel bets already placed.

Lithuania's betting operators canceled the bets following similar actions by foreign betting companies.
The decision was also affected by the unreasonably large amount of bets and apprehensions that the winner of the match was known in advance.
Vygerdas Jonikas, Omnibetas CEO, said that the company's betting shops initially accepted bets on the match between Zalgiris and AaB Aalborg, though later the betting was canceled.
"The bets were significant. That is why we canceled the betting as we were unwilling to take up the risks," he said. "Moreover, the victory of the Danish team was largely expected, which deprives the betting a taste of chance."
The operator added that foreign betting shops were also flooded with large-scale bets on the Danish team's victory, which prompted them also to cancel the bets.
Vytautas Mieliauskas, head of the development department with Orakulas, said the bets concerning the outcome of the soccer match were accepted, though the rate was symbolic (1:1) and limits were imposed.
"Now the betting is allowed; however, the rate fixed for the victory of the Danes is symbolic. We have information that the outcome of the match has been agreed in advance and that the Danes would win," Mieliauskas said.
The company obtained inside information that persons associated with the Zalgiris team rushed to place large bets, predicting the victory of the Danish team, he added.
Gintaras Staniulis, CEO of Top Sport, said that the company deemed the match uninteresting and did not offer a chance to place bets over its outcome.
The list of global betting operators that refused to accept bets concerning the outcome between Vilnius Zalgiris and AaB Aalborg showed William Hill, Sportingbet, Bet 365, and bet-at-home.com.
Lithuania's betting operators have suspected Vilnius Zalgiris of foul play on more than one occasion.