Betting lower and lower

Data collection companies are scouring ever lower down the European football pyramid for live data that is feeding opaque Asian betting operators.

By Steve Menary

Sholing is a small club based on the outskirts of Southampton and ran by a handful of unpaid, over-worked and very friendly volunteers. The players are paid, but no-one makes anything like a living from playing football. As Sholing produce a shock 2-1 win over more established rivals Salisbury, sat unnoticed among the crowd of 254 people is a data scout, whose work will generate significantly more money than everyone else in the stadium combined.

Data from the scout is collected and will find its way onto betting websites ran not just by regulated licenced companies but also unlicensed and poorly regulated betting operators whose mysterious structures enable match fixing. Sholing’s directors are shocked to be shown their game is on offer for example with 1XBet, a betting website that is banned and geo-blocked in the UK but easily accessible on a mobile phone from the stands of Sholing’s Imperial Homes Stadium with a Virtual Private Network [VPN].

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