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Top Level Football Teams in China Punished for Gambling Scandal

Feb 22, 2010
Gambling Scandal

Match fixing and bribing the referees are among the charges laid against two of China’s Super League teams. As a result, the teams are being punished and relegated. Players, officials and a soccer boss are reported to have been involved in the scandal.

BBC News: Two football teams relegated from China’s Super League

China’s Football Association has decided to relegate 2 teams from the Super League to its 2nd division in a corruption scandal. According to official Chinese media, the teams were accused of being involved in match-fixing and gambling. The Chengdu Blades, one of the relegated teams, is owned by Sheffield United.

Sheffield United bought a majority stake in Chengdu Blades in 2006, hoping to develop football in China and unearth new talent. The team was promoted to China’s Super League the following season and became a powerhouse in Chinese football.

Chengdu will be relegated as punishment for alleged match-fixing. The club allegedly bribed an opposing team to lose a crucial game and ensure Chengdu’s elevation to the top flight.

The Team’s chairman, Xu Hongtao, and his deputy have already been detained as part of a widening crackdown on corruption in football. Twenty senior officials and players were allegedly involved, including the former head of China’s Football Association, Nan Yong. Police and tax investigators say players and refs have been bribed to throw games and some players paid up to $15,500 for a place in the national squad.

The Canadian Press: Two top-level Chinese football clubs relegated over match fixing, gambling allegations

Two Chinese Super League clubs have been relegated to the 2nd tier amid a match fixing and gambling scandal that‘s already toppled the head of the country’s soccer association. Guangzhou GPC and the Chengdu Blades were removed from the Chinese Super League after an investigation led officials to believe they were involved in match-fixing.

Charges against those involved in the scandal include match fixing, bribing referees, players paying for places at the national team’s training camp and play time in international competition.

The relegations were the harshest punishment dealt out to clubs to this date. People caught up in the sweeping probe that has netted more than a dozen players and officials, including former soccer boss Nan Yong.

Two new teams will be announced and introduced into the Super League to keep the total number of teams at 16.

The New York Times: Two Top Chinese Clubs Relegated For Matchfixing

Two top-flight Chinese soccer clubs were relegated to the 2nd division after club officials were found guilty of matchfixing and gambling, according to the state media. The Chinese Football Association’s disciplinary committee decided to relegate Guangzhou GPC and the Chengdu Blades.

The president of Chengdu, owned by English Championship side Sheffield United, was arrested last month in an investigation into matchfixing which has seen more than 20 officials arrested or detained, including the CFA’s former chief Nan Yong.

The CFA said 16 teams would still play in this year’s Chinese Super League season, though replacements haven’t been named yet. The season will kick off on the 20th of March, but ongoing police investigations could disrupt those plans.

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Loto-Quebec Will Offer Canadians New Online Gambling Opportunities

Feb 16, 2010
Loto

Canadian gambling law continues to liberalize and as a result, online gambling will be made legal and offered most recently in the Province of Quebec. The lotto and internet poker rooms are the first to be offered. Loto-Quebec will team up with other companies to cover a larger part of Canada.

The Montreal Gazette: Loto-Québec goes online

Loto-Québec will offer Quebecers online poker and sports betting at a site that should be live this year in order control a new, beneficial stream of revenue. Plans received the blessing of the Quebec cabinet, which intends to “cannibalize illegal gambling sites” and see a common electronic platform created for Loto-Québec, B.C. Lottery Corp. and Atlantic Lottery Corp., which covers Canada’s 4 Atlantic Provinces.

A memorandum of understanding was signed by the 3 corporations providing rules governing the new games. Quebec and its partners will need high betting limits to compete with existing online operations. Even with high limits, it’s not sure that the new sites will succeed in luring players from older sites. The number of viable players is a big concern at the moment.

At a media conference in Montreal, the main focus was on legitimacy, regulation and protection that provincially run online gambling would offer consumers. Online games could generate as much as $50 million in new revenue for Quebec in 2012.

CBC News: Loto-Québec to offer online gambling

Quebec’s lottery corporation will launch its first online gambling service this September. Loto-Québec hopes it will add millions of dollars to its coffers by 2013. Allowing Loto-Québec to join the lucrative online market could earn the province $50 million over 3 years, according to Finance Minister Raymond Bachand.

Social costs regarding young adults are particularly grim, suggested Danielle Doyer, the Parti Québécois ’s social services critic. She accused the Liberal government of ignoring the costs in favor of financial gain. Loto-Québec, however, argues that Quebeckers already have access to more than 2,000 online gambling sites that are “illegal and unregulated.”

The site will require players to verify their age, limit their weekly account replenishments and allow players to “self-exclude at all times.”

He also cited a public health study that showed no increase in problematic gamblers in Quebec between 1996 and 2002, suggesting the proportion of the population addicted to gambling always remains the same, regardless of the number of gambling outlets.

The Canadian Press: Quebec loto commission to join B.C. and Atlantic Canada online gambling venture

Quebec’s lottery commission plans to offer online gambling by this fall. On Wednesday, the Quebec government announced that it is allowing Loto-Quebec to set up poker and sports betting sites online. Loto-Quebec will join lottery commissions from British Columbia and Atlantic Canada to provide a common platform for online gamblers.

According to Quebec Finance Minister Raymond Bachand, online gambling is already widespread and government coffers could benefit greatly from the continuously growing market. He says he expects the government to receive around $50 million in dividends from Loto-Quebec’s online venture after just three years.

The lottery commission promised to take steps to limit underage players from taking part.

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