Gambling gang sentenced for large-scale tennis fixing scheme

Gambling gang sentenced for large-scale tennis fixing scheme
Credit: Belga / Anne-Marie Sorvin

28 people in a gang have been convicted for their match-fixing scheme that involved lower-level tennis matches in Belgium between 2014 and 2018.

The gang’s leader Grigor S. received the toughest punishment – a 5-year prison sentence and an €8,000 fine. 

In total, the international gambling network bribed tennis players to pre-determine the results of 375 matches. The group had decided to target smaller circuit tennis matches, most of which were not filmed.

Having decided on the results beforehand, their subsequent bets allowed them to pocket large gambling winnings. However, the Belgian Gambling Commission had been alerted to suspicious gambling patterns from several people in the municipality of Geraardsbergen.

An investigation was opened in 2018, which eventually revealed the extent of the gang’s crimes. The guilty parties were brought to trial five years later.

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While the gang’s leader Grigor has been sentenced to a five-year prison sentence, six of his closest accomplices also face time in prison. The tennis players who accepted the gang’s bribes have only been found guilty of accepting bribes but will not face any further punishment. 

Moreover, multiple tennis federations had taken civil action against the gang and were seeking to be compensated for "reputational damage." However, the Geraardsbergen court did not side with them in the end.

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