Rumours Swirl on Asian Betting

The FAI have another pressing matter to deal with this morning following suggestions of unusual betting patterns around a match involving Limerick FC for the second time this season.

Last month there were suggestions of a strong betting move for Shelbourne FC against Limerick, with their betting odds shortening dramatically before a 2-0 victory.

Saturday’s match was a 3-2 win for Limerick where it was their odds that had shortened significantly before they won the game with a late penalty.

Bookmakers betting patterns monitoring software has grown very sophisticated in recent years and allows them to flag where unexpected patterns are emerging before potentially alerting authorities.

Paddy Power and Bet 365, two of the largest betting companies suspended betting on the game, amid reports of significant market moves on Asian betting markets.

These markets are often seen as the main driver of betting exchange activity, where programmes have been devised to track market moves and use them to create potential arbitrage opportunities.

Like in any financial trading market, rumour and speculation can sometimes spiral quickly, leading to significant moves that can be based on sentiment rather than actual hard cash.

While regulated betting organisations here are willing to share information through memoranda of understanding, that is not necessarily the case with overseas bookmakers where the rumours often start.

The SSE Airtricity League first division has been subject to a number of rumours in recent seasons.

A full investigation and sanctions arose from a game involving Athlone Town last season, though the FAI has not made any comment on the latest suggestions of potentially damaging activity.

Given the current challenges facing the management and governance of the FAI it is another unwelcome headline to have to deal with.

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