Australian in Court over Winnings from Corrupt Table Tennis Matches

How many times do you look at a sporting event and think it might be fixed? That easy pot missed in snooker, the open goal missed or the poor performance without any good reason. How many times though do you believe a table tennis match might be fixed?

An interesting court case began in Newcastle in New South Wales, Australia. 41-year-old Australian Adam Michael Green (a former table tennis champion) has been accused of winning AU$438,000 from over a thousand bets laid on table tennis matches.

The accused did not attend the court hearing. He has several counts to answer regarding the possibly corrupt table tennis matches. One count sees him charged with using corrupt information to bet on a sports event. Another concerns dealing with the proceeds of a crime with the intention to conceal. There are another two counts of giving corrupt information to others knowing that would then be used to make bets.

Sometimes there is a struggle to supply evidence to prove that wrongdoings have occurred. That’s not the case here with the amount of evidence collected by the police containing over 6500 pages of information.

It’s alleged that Green (who was not in court on Friday) placed a total of 1170 bets between May and December 2020. All were made online from his home. The prosecution say that he had received details about matches in Eastern Europe that were being fixed.

According to the prosecution, Mr Green did not keep all of this information to himself. It is alleged that he made contact with his brother Matthew Green and Luke Savill who lives in the UK. This wasn’t a cosy chat but supplying them with information that they could use to then place bets on these apparently fixed matches. The case is continuing and the accused could be sentenced to 20 years in jail if found guilty.

It was in December of last year that the accused was arrested. An investigation had been carried out into the alleged corrupt betting activities by a gambling syndicate. Sports Integrity Australia was one of the bodies investigating what was going on with these table-tennis matches.

Last year was a difficult one for those who spent their time betting on top sports events. Top sporting leagues around the world were suspended due to the pandemic. Gamblers turned their attentions to other sports so they could continue gambling, others played more casino games.

There were plenty of table tennis events to bet on though, especially in Eastern Europe. Soon the rumours of match fixing began. In the USA, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement took action. They banned betting on table tennis events and named six players they were suspicious about.

It had been noticed that matches played in Ukraine were played at peak betting times. Such were the problems in Ukraine that the organisers of the Setka Cup even made players take a lie-detector test to help guard against cheating.

It’s not just table tennis that Sports Integrity Australia have been looking into. They’ve even been working with the FBI. April saw several Australian Counter Strike players arrested for match fixing and illicit betting.