Suspicious Betting Patterns Reported in Dundee v Hearts Match

Bookmakers have asked the Scottish Football Association (SFA) to investigate the December 18 game played between Dundee and Hearts. The Scottish Premiership game was won by Hearts 1-0, but several bookmakers have reported suspicious betting patterns.

It is not the result of the match that is causing concern. Jamie Walker scored the only goal of the game 15 minutes from time. Dundee had lost their previous three league games, so avoiding defeat at Hearts wasn’t expected.

There are plenty of markets available for football games, most not needing the result to be predicted. For example, betting on how many corners there will be in a game or the total number of goals. Another is how many players will be given yellow cards. This is the market that is giving bookmakers “serious concerns” after four Dundee players were booked during the game.

The players booked were Leigh Griffiths, Paul McGowan, Danny Mullen, and Max Anderson. Bookmakers have an agreement with the SFA that they will pass on any suspicions of irregular betting patterns.

That’s the case with this game and the matter has now been referred to the SFA Security and Integrity unit. The next step will be to take the matter to the SFA’s compliance officer. That will be the case if there is any evidence uncovered of insider betting. The compliance officer would then consider whether any disciplinary proceedings are required and a Notice of Complaint.

It could go further than that though if the bookmakers have their way. They haven’t ruled out making a complaint to Police Scotland or potential criminal action. It isn’t known at present if the concerns over betting patterns arose before or after the match.

Nor has it been disclosed whether the suspicious bets were made online or placed in betting shops. Bookmakers can decide to withhold paying out any bets that they have concerns over.
When asked about the concerns of the bookmakers, Hearts said they were unaware of any investigation. Dundee have failed to make a comment on the situation.

A global football report into suspicious betting trends revealed that 217 matches last year were identified as being suspicious. That was a big fall from the 456 in the previous year. It was the third successive year that the proportion of suspicious matches identified had fallen.

However, research carried out by Sportradar Integrity Services detected possible match-fixing in over a 1,100 sports matches so it’s a problem that doesn’t just affect football.