Down Under and top of the world

Australia, a country with just 12 professional football teams, has become the leading provider of matches for the opaque offshore betting market. Josimar has confirmed that police recently investigated one of these games.

By Jack Kerr

The Moreland Zebras are anything but a household name in Australia. Even within the Melbourne council area they take their name from, much of their “brand recognition” is with parents whose children spend their Saturday mornings chasing balls as part of the club’s kids programmes. Some are as young as 5 or 6.

But on a Friday night in early May, the Zebras’ under-21 side appeared on offshore betting sites across the world. 

One bookmaker that offered its game is on the run from Russia and sanctioned by Ukraine

Another appeared to be operating illegally in Australia, and bore no licence to operate. Not even Curacao, the nation at the end of line of credibility for bookmakers, had given it approval.  

A third site has been linked to south-east Asia’s cyber slavery compounds, hellholes of human trafficking that can only be escaped by luring vulnerable people into scams that separate them from their life savings.

But this Zebras’ youth game was not an anomaly. It was not one that slipped through the cracks or that accidently ended up on the roster of the sports data providers whose live data fuels the offshore gambling industry. 

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