The bombshell reports on match fixing in professional tennis from BuzzFeed and the BBC have apparently done nothing to curb said match fixing. Massively popular online betting site Pinnacle Sports had to shut down bets on one low-level match at the Australian Open on Sunday after a suspicious amount of money poured in over that particular contest, according to the New York Times.
"We saw a small number of people placing a large amount of money," Pinnacle Sports' head of sportsbook Marco Blume told the Times. "In context, these matches are rather small. That means that any aggressive betting behavior is very easy to detect on our side."
Not only was there a large influx of cash, it was on a first-round, mixed open doubles match between Lara Arruabarrena and David Marrero of Spain and Andrea Hlavackova of the Czech Republic and Lukasz Kubot of Poland. Though betting on the match was suspended 13 hours prior, Arruabarrena and Marrero, ranked 33 and 32, respectively, still lost in what could be considered a suspicious manner to Hlavackova and Kubot: 6-0, 6-3, in just 49 minutes.
Those who run book develop a keen sense of foul play, or else find themselves insolvent. Odds aren't necessarily a reflection of what the oddsmakers believe will happen in a contest, but rather are designed to keep too much money from piling up in favor of one outcome, and if that happens, they have several other ways of trying to even out the bets. Pinnacle Sports did this for the Arruabarrena-Marrero/Hlavackova-Kubot match, reducing the maximum bet allowed and essentially reversing the odds. And yet the cash kept crashing in.
Well, for another nine minutes, until Pinnacle's team decided something was afoot.
Arruabarrena and Marrero denied fixing the match. The BuzzFeed and BBC reports opted not to name any players because of the high degree of difficulty in proving something like match-fixing.