Ghost Football Scam Costs Bookies a Fortune

Ghost Football Game Scams Cost Bookmakers a Fortune

So large is the international betting industry, most, if not all bookmakers, sportsbooks and betting sites rely on third parties to supply them the raw data regarding sporting events and fixtures that are being held in all four corners of the globe and rely heavily of such companies to supply them with the results of such sporting events.

Therefore, if it is possible for a team of fraudsters to somehow infiltrate those third-party companies there is a large amount of money to be made by sending out falsified data regarding the results of any sporting events.

One very recent scam that has come to light is a strange phenomenon known as ghost football matches. Those are matches that bookmakers believe are scheduled to take place, which they then set about accepting best and wagers on; but are matches that do not exist and are never played.

A dummy ghost sits in the empty tribune prior to the Europa League Group K soccer match between SK Rapid Wien and Rosenborg BK in Vienna. Rapid Wien must play this match behind closed doors as a result of crowd trouble after their Europa League qualifier at PAOK Salonika in August. (Leonhard Foeger/Reuters)

An Isle of Man based betting company recently fell foul to a ghost football game, when the raw data they were supplied with from one of their usual suppliers indicated that two Belarusian Premier League clubs were to play each other. The bookmaker then, as usual, offered a betting market on that match, and being a large company, they then started to receive bets on that football match.
After the supposed match was played the bookmaker then received the result from the exact same data supplier and paid out all winning bets in the usual way.

However, it then transpired that the match hadn’t taken place and was in fact a ghost match, leaving the bookmakers with a huge loss on that match, as not surprisingly many of their customers had bet on it and won! Both football teams denied any wrong doing, and it was the case that someone had been able to alter the raw data the bookmaker had received regarding that match, including the result and had then instructed members of their team well in advance of it to open accounts with that bookmaker and place what would be winning bets!

It may sound strange that any bookmakers, sportsbooks and betting sites would fall foul to such a scam these days, however due to the huge and ever-growing number of sporting events held all over the world, and as most betting sites will offer markets on them all, it is possible they will fall foul of such a well thought out football scam.

It is not only betting sites that end up paying out a fortune for fictitious football matches and other made up sporting events, for there may just have been several innocent punters who decided to have a bet on them when they see they’re trusted betting sites and bookmakers offering odds on them.

Whilst this type of ghost football match scams are quite rare, if you are planning on having a football related bet in the future, do your own research to ensure that match is a real one and is actually taking place!