The FBI is now investigating in CS: GO - fraudsters are now "much more organized"

 

The FBI is now investigating in CS: GO - fraudsters are now "much more organized"

The shooter Counter-Strike: Global Offensive has been one of the big esports titles for years. As such, it is also represented in sports betting and the like. And it is precisely with these bets that there are always scandals, which the American domestic secret service is now investigating.


In an interview with Integrity Commissioner Ian Smith of the Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC for short), he spoke about betting in CS: GO. The organization takes care of fighting fraud in esports. This also includes marked matches and betting fraud.


Apparently there are currently some cases in Valve's popular shooter that will result in some bans. However, it is not just about individual players, but also about larger organizations behind the fraud, so that even secret services are now involved:


"I can only speak in general [...] We have a focused investigation where we have really good evidence from Discord, various chat logs, screenshots, recordings of players that we will banned for a long time. [...]

But this is part of a much larger investigation that, unfortunately, will take longer. There have been organized, rigged matches in the North American MDL for a long time among a relatively small but significant group. [...]

To a certain extent, we are working with law enforcement, with the FBI that just had an investigation into sports betting. "


Ian Smith

The interview was conducted by the Counter-Strike expert "slash32" and published on his YouTube channel. We have included the video here for you, the section on the FBI starts at 20:23:

 



Sports betting is apparently a bigger problem

Why is the FBI investigating? The fact that the FBI is now investigating is probably due to the size of the cases. Not only the athletes themselves are involved in the betting fraud, but also outsiders, as Smith says. “There are more players bribed by outside syndicates to win matches than they do opportunistically on their own. It has been going on for a long time and is much more organized. "

In addition, according to Smith, sports betting has only been legal in some US states since last year. That's one of the reasons why the FBI is now interested in the investigation.

However, the relatively new laws also lead to problems. It is not always clear what is allowed and what is not. Smith explains, "They [the FBI] are good, but they are inexperienced because until recently sports betting was not an issue in America."

What are ESIC and FBI? The Esports Integrity Commission has been active since 2016 and has set itself the task of combating fraud in esports. This also includes manipulation and doping .

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is the central security agency in the United States. It serves as both a domestic intelligence agency and a criminal investigation department dealing with federal criminal offenses in the United States.


Why CS: GO? Betting fraud and other issues have been an issue in CS: GO for a while. As recently as August 2019 , 6 Australian players were arrested for manipulating bets .

In this case, too, the ESIC worked with the Australian authorities and, as Smith says, it is a crime punishable by imprisonment. Five of the players were threatened with up to 10 years in jail shortly after their arrest.

Trading in skins in CS: GO is also popular - and is being exploited. Some of the cosmetics for the guns in the game are coveted collectibles that can be worth hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

Accordingly, there is also the temptation for criminals to relieve others of this money. It wasn't until February 2021 that a fraudster stole a skin for € 1,160 . That even led to a police manhunt.

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