Victoria Police, the police department for the Australian state of Victoria, has partnered with the Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC) to work on combating match-fixing and suspicious betting activity in esports.
The partnership will allow Victoria Police’s Sporting Integrity Intelligence Unit to receive betting alerts from ESIC if any matches show signs of suspicious betting activity.
This is the first time Victoria’s law enforcement is partnering with ESIC, though this is not the first time the department has worked on esports-related cases.
In 2019, the Sporting Integrity Intelligence unit conducted the first Australian investigation into match-fixing in esports, resulting in several charges.
The main goal of the Unit is to prevent cases of match-fixing and manipulating — in traditional sports but also esports — and conduct investigations in the field.
Founded in 2015, ESIC is a non-profit that aims to prevent cheating in esports, including match fixing. The organisation is partnered with numerous betting companies, tournament operators, government bodies, and other esports stakeholders.
The partnership will allow ESIC to call on an actual police force to investigate potential offences, increasing the weight behind its internal investigations. ESIC noted in a release that the organisation is hoping to cooperate with other international law enforcement agencies in the future.
Chris Gilbert, Assistant Commissioner of the Intelligence and Covert Support Command at Victoria Police, said: “Victoria Police will continue to target the infiltration of esports by any potential offenders – including by organised crime syndicates.
“Alongside this agreement with ESIC, we’ve developed strong relationships with a number of esports stakeholders and wagering operators, and we’ll continue to work together to target any suspicious activity.”