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How people make money by betting on Arsenal

By Tony Attwood

Virtually everyone seems to agree there is match fixing in football, and everyone (apart from those who do it) agrees by and large that it should be stopped.

Unfortunately in examining these matters, no one in the media seems to want to take up the  point of view that Untold has been putting across for over two years: the sanctity of the Premier League could be enhanced greatly if there was an increase in the number of officials in the Premier League.

If you increase the number of refs, then if there are referees who favour one team or another, they will get far less chance to influence for or against a team – because they will officiate with that team less often.

The utter failure of PGMOL (the organisation that supplies referees to the Premier League) to engage with this notion shows that PGMOL is being rather silly.  (It would of course be quite wrong of me to suggest anything other than rampant silliness because although we have all the facts and figures and they appear on this site day after day, the reason behind PGMOLs bizarre decision remains beyond my limited intellectual abilities.)

But progress is being made.

Clearly there is something odd going on in PGMOL in that their web site that was previously open to all, as a way of expounding what they do, remains shut.  Even more strangely the Wikipedia page on PGMOL has a notice saying that no one can modify the page.   Now that is odd.

Meanwhile abroad revelations continue at a high rate, including a recent one that suggests that a lot of the football gambling industry is run out of a Cambodian border town from which (it is said) the police and other authorities are utterly absent.

Poipet, is, according to the descriptions that have been emerging of late, about as low as you can get.   But the money it deals in is reputed to be quite large –  £1 billion annually is a nice round figure, but this is what is quoted as the turnover of illegal gambling in this part of the world.  Which I guess is why Europol started to get involved in looking at match fixing.

In fact Europol are suggesting that the town of Poipet is just one of many such towns – towns whose entire economy is based on match fixing.  The money is placed in gambling shops in the town, and the bets are moved on to other parts of the region, and with each move the origin of the bets becomes less and less traceable.

So Poipet has gained a reputation, not of being the actual heart of the operation, but rather a fringe – a location that will handle your bet.   As a result special buses are laid on from Thailand to the town so that Thai punters can join in the fun.

According to The Sunday Telegraph Poipet is a town where the two clubs supported are Manchester United and Liverpool – although just because their badges are everywhere does not mean that all the matches that are fixed are fixed in their favour.   Bets can be of £50,000 a go, it is all illegal, and no one is moving an inch to close the operations down.

According to the report there is a lot of interest within this kind of venue in the Premier League, because of its incredibly high profile worldwide.  And perhaps because the gamblers know, as we do, that it is not very difficult to predict results according to the referee.

This indeed was a central part of our recent article Arsenal receive an amazing boost in their search for a European spot next season.  By looking at who the refs are likely to be, and by highlighting how those refs have treated Arsenal in the past, we started to predict results.

Now it is important to say that we have not had the slightest indication that anything involving Arsenal wittingly or unwittingly has anything to do with match fixing.  It is just that Arsenal statistically do less well under certain referees – which is why people bet against Arsenal when a certain ref is on display.

When Walter did all his research (which is appearing on Untold day by day) what we were looking for were referees under who Arsenal do averagely well according to their Premier League statistics.  And as we looked at the forthcoming matches we found those are the refs that Arsenal will be getting in the coming weeks.

Of course if PGMOL had more referees we would not have been able to make this prediction – everything here always comes down to the refusal of PGMOL to appoint more referees – especially referees from London and the south east.  If you haven’t followed the series you might be surprised to know there aren’t any.

Meanwhile the Europol report suggested that it had found 680 games in 30 countries across the world that have been rigged.   Obviously I know nothing of such matters beyond what I read in the paper – but I would emphasise the point that is made above.   With the state of refereeing in the Premier League as it is, no one has to do anything other than look at who the ref in an Arsenal match will be, and then check the performance of that ref on our chart.

Indeed if you want an overall guide as to how easy it will be to predict any PL result just have a look at The Riley Factor.

And if you want to be assured that the notion of match fixing is real, and not a figment of Untold’s imaginatiion, you might like to note that just two months ago the acting president of the Asian Football Confederation Zhang Jilong described match-fixing across Asia as “pandemic”. In one interesting move David Beckham was appointed as a special ambassador for Chinese football in the hope that his Mr Clean image would restore faith in football – given that Mr B is giving his  £170,000 a week salary to a children’s charity in Paris.

Except… the problem with using Mr B just at the moment, is that (as the Independent is suggesting) no money has flowed to the poor children of Paris, and Yann Guerin, the spokesperson for PSG has said, “No decision has yet been made. We are considering various options.”    But the newspaper says that it has “picked up no trace of any attempt by PSG to invite, or study, candidatures by children’s charities in the Paris area. Groups which have written to the club have received only a brief, pro-forma letter in response. No follow-up approaches have so far been made.”

Malika Tabti secretary general of Secours Populaire, one of the largest charities in France, told the paper,  “We run several projects for children in the Paris areas, including one which creates sporting opportunities and holidays for deprived youngsters. We could help far more children than we do but we are always short of funds.”   It seems Ms Tabti received a short letter from PSG in early February saying that they would be back in touch. Since then, she has heard nothing.

Of course Mr B has nothing to do with match fixing, but the story does show (to me at least) that China is not seriously engaged in sorting out its match fixing issues, but is engaged in a spot of short-term publicity work by buying in Mr B – whose image soared to new heights when the Paris kids’ story hit.

Meanwhile back in Cambodia the Telegraph picked up this quote: “All of the shops are owned by Chinese or ethnic Chinese from Singapore.  My boss is from Singapore. He sent me here to open this place eight months ago. We make around 100,000 Baht (£2,300) a day.”

When The Sunday Telegraph went to bet on Swansea v Arsenal, the bet was placed via a Chinese language website in mainland China.  The paper then cited Dr Visanu Vongsinsirikul, an expert on football betting at the Centre for Gambling Studies at Bangkok’s Chulalongkorn, who commented:

“Football betting began to become popular in Asia after the 1990 World Cup. But it is online gambling that has really enhanced its growth, and that’s because it allows for ‘live betting’.  The actual rigging of matches is done in advance by agents – often former Eastern European footballers – who approach corrupt players and officials and then act as go-betweens with the likes of Dan Tan.”

Dr Visanu suggests that in Thailand alone, where football gambling is illegal, the industry is worth around £90 million a year.   “So many games are believed to be rigged, that many Asian punters will pay handsomely for advance information on which matches have been fixed.”
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So if you want to join in criminal activity – here is a way to do it.  But if you care about Arsenal, maybe you could send a note to PGMOL suggesting that they might bring in more referees, open up and at least tell us about themselves on their website, tell Wikipedia it doesn’t have to freeze its page on PGMOL just because Wiki quotes our work and that of our sister site “Referees Decisions” and that while they are at it, the geographical balance of such referees might be looked at too.
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Meanwhile you might also like to look at the Wikipedia page on PGMOL yourself which contains this most worrying notice:
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This information is copyrighted to the legal terms of the Football Association and may NOT be rewritten or edited at any present time.
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And of course Referee Decisions – which really digs into what is happening.
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The books…

The sites from the same team…

16 comments to How people make money by betting on Arsenal

  • Gord

    The “Copywrite” statement on the PGMOL Wikipedia page looks suspicious. I am not an English major, but the presence of the word “present” looks wrong to me. There may be forums within the Wikipedia community which should be consulted on this.

    I looked at the Talk page, and the history of the PGMOL page. The Talk page contains nothing of substance. If there was an official policy on edits, it should be described here. The latest history of the PGMOL page, shows the 4 most recent edits are from the IP of 81.157.114.49. Not even some registered user of the page. Doing a traceroute on that IP, all I see is that this IP disappears into bt.net somewhere.

  • @babakrdaemi

    Hi Walter, when are you going to give us your assessment of the FFP ruling in the premier league? I find your assessment the most trustworthy, accurate and informative

    Cheers

    COME ON THE GUNNERS

  • ClockEndRider

    It would be interesting to see some analysis of the apparent decision by the Premier League to bring in a form of FFP. Unfortunately the only place I can find anything on It is Sky Sports. Oh dear.
    Interestingly the seems to be no trace of any announcement on the Premier League website. Which is more than a little odd…..

  • Arvind

    @Gord: Did you look at archive.org? When was it last changed etc etc?

  • Justin P

    Wikipedia is editable by anyone. That copyright notice was completely bunk, as was a completely grammatically challenged statement about youth referees which I also removed. I don’t know who was doing those edits, but they certainly aren’t going to be very convincing if they don’t figure out where apostrophes go in sentences.

    If a wikipedia page is truly locked for editing, it will have a large noticeable message at the top, with a lock symbol and the message “this article is semiprotected due to a high risk of vandalism” this usually occurs on heavily trafficked articles (such as controversial topics or current events). This article was never locked (someone just edited it with that stupid meaningless copyright message).

    Also you don’t need to check archive.org, clicking the “history” page will show you when edits occurred, and allows you to compare to previous version of the page.

  • Stuart

    It says when it was changed on the edit page although mysteriously it has now been edited back

  • Adam

    The Commissioner for Sport Androulla Vassiliou’s statement to MEPs on match-fixing and corruption in sport from the European Parliament in Strasbourg, from Tuesday 12 March.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01rnt5l/European_Parliament_15_03_2013/

    Some of you outside the UK or EU will not be able to watch this, but maybe able to find it elsewhere.

    The betting industry is worth 100 billion euro’s a year.

    The prems new TV deal is worth 3% of that but over 3 years.

  • Adam

    http://ec.europa.eu/home-affairs/news/intro/docs/20120312/1_en_act_part1_v8_1.pdf

    Their talking about seizing assets from criminal activity which will mean writing into law their intentions.

  • Adam

    It’s disappointing that not all the nations were represented, however the three nations that ban third party ownership all attended and were quite vocal regarding the lower leagues and how they are corrupted, which some have accused the EU of instigating via the Bosman ruling, that has created a gulf between the top paid players and the lower leagues pay which opens the lower leagues up to corrupt financial gains.

  • Gord

    It is trivial to roll back edits on Wikipedia, and I suspect that is what someone did. Besides, there are enough sites re-posting wikipedia articles a person could easily have found an old version somewhere else.

    If that IP can be associated with PGMOL, they could find themselves ineligible to edit it ever again.

  • Gord

    Wikipedia is not interested in being a “banner” for any party. Wikipedia wants to be an encyclopedia for the world: to explain topics to people interested in learning. It does not want to be a storehouse of information that is not of general interest.

    With Wikipedia, it sometimes happens that 2 (or more) parties have differing opinions on a topic, and a “dispute” arises. There are processes in place to try and arrive at a solution which is good for everyone (the arguing parties and the world at large). See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Dispute_resolution for an introduction to dispute resolution.

    But, everything I’ve ever read about the “behind the scenes” at Wikipedia, says that if PGMOL has a problem with what is on the PGMOL page at Wikipedia, they cannot edit the page and put up a copyright notice saying the page cannot be changed. I believe the intention of Wikipedia, is that ALL pages are under some kind of free content license.

    PGMOL might directly edit the page to remove content. If users worldwide want the content, a dispute will probably result. PGMOL is not allowed to edit page content to reflect the position it wants to present. Or rather, they can try, and anyone is allowed to change it. And this edit cycle can continue almost forever, but at some point it becomes a dispute, and it will be resolved. PGMOL cannot “hire” someone to do this either. Abusing editing policies gets people (accounts or IP addresses) blacklisted. The blacklisting can be temporary or permanent.

    But, at the end of the day, Wikipedia has a well thought out process to handle the presentation of topics subject to confrontation. I’ve no doubt if it is perfect. PGMOL (or some other (interested or not) party) cannot edit the page and prohibit further edits.

  • elkieno

    IP addreses can me makes very easily or a dummy one given. Keep up this work Untold noone else is doing it cos it is hard and time consuming. Most ppl who care are really just football fans and haven’t the know how or patience to take on this kind of work, so keep it going. Just like archeologists you have to keep digging to eventually hit pay dirt.
    You might get contacted and given a bribe to shut up, in this case say yes and get out your secret spy kit, dictaphone and Start recording!
    You might become famous and get nick named, ‘Deep Throat Untold’ or ‘Untold Deapthroat’ or just ‘DeepThroat11’. Anyway I serious you will uncover something for sure or someone will point you in the right direction, imagine Untold Arsenal blowing it wide open. One thing for sure, they will hate Arsenal but who cares, nnoone likes us, we don’t care!!!
    COYG!!!!

  • Gord

    @elkieno

    I am nothing like an investigator, just a good scientist/engineer. Other than tracing that IP (in the Wikipedia records) to bt.net, I don’t know how I might easily/legally assign it to a source (such as PGMOL).

    But, the idea that PGMOL can be the “official” source of information about PGMOL on Wikipedia is shot down. They cannot. They may not like what is there. They can try to edit things. At some point, a dispute is likely, and a possible result is blacklisting of PGMOL from editing that page.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Having just clicked on the link Tony put up about PGMOL ,the entire ” Controversy” part seems to be all about Untold Arsenal’s referee reviews and sends the readers to this sites.
    Hmmmm ! Wonder who did this ? Or are they really all hot and bothered ?Circling of wagons done !
    Well anyway ,well done guys !
    In earlier times whenever I would want to take a bet with the kids ,we’d watch ESPN ‘s preview of the games and hoped that their pundits (notably ,Shebby Singh !) would not pick our team to win ,as they almost always got it wrong !Talk of the kiss of death !

  • Justin P

    I’m not really sure what those edits were trying to accomplish because they didn’t remove the links to Untold (which could easily be done). I removed the most gibberish parts and the fake copyright notice, but the article is still pretty badly written and needs more citations.

  • Rupert Cook

    Back in 2007 I bet someone £200 we’d never win another trophy under Wenger. That was the amount I was prepared to sacrifice for a trophy.