SOCTA 2017

Criminal networks use match-fixing to manipulate the outcomes of sports matches, which skews betting odds and allows them to generate significant profits. Match-fixing in the EU primarily affects football games. However, match-fixers are also targeting tennis, snooker and dart competitions.

In some cases OCGs have infiltrated sporting clubs in order to orchestrate money laundering schemes.


In May 2016, as part of Operation Matrioskas, law enforcement authorities dismantled a Russian-speaking OCG which had infiltrated football clubs and laundered several million euros across the EU. The OCG used middlemen to purchase football clubs experiencing financial pressure. The group was able to conceal their money laundering activities among the large financial transactions and cross-border money flows, which are not unusual for professional football clubs. Weak governance allowed the OCG to use the clubs to launder money by over- or under-valuating players on the transfer market as well as by accepting bids for television rights deals.