A major sports gambling website suspended betting on a doubles match yesterday at the Australian Open, raising suspicions of match fixing at one of the world's most prestigious tennis tournaments.
The New York Times reported that Pinnacle Sports, one of the largest and most influential betting websites in the world, suspended betting on a match after large amounts of money were poured on a normally obscure contest.
Marco Blume, the head of sportsbook at Pinnacle, said nearly all the money came down on one side, which he said was an indication that the match might be fixed.
About 13 hours before the match was set to begin, Pinnacle's traders suspended betting on it, Blume said. He then notified the police in Victoria, the Australian province where the tournament takes place, of possible irregularities.
"We saw a small number of people placing a large amount of money," Blume told the New York Times.
He added: "In context, these matches are rather small. That means that any aggressive betting behavior is very easy to detect on our side."
Blume said Pinnacle had seen no such betting behavior for any other match at this Australian Open.