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Match-fixing under the state monopoly sports betting system: a case study of the 2011 K-League scandal


This paper examines the characteristics of match-fixing under the state monopoly sports betting system, particularly focusing on the case of the 2011 K-League scandal. Drawing from policy documentation and interview data, this study explores the precipitating factors that underpin large-scale match-fixing in South Korea. The results of the analysis reveal that first, the financial stability of the legal, monopoly betting operator attracts match-fixers for manipulation due to its guaranteed payouts. Second, the legal betting system that only offers traditional products (e.g., final match results) required fixers to mobilize a larger number of players, increasing the size of the scandal. Third, within the small community of footballers, the networks based on school ties, and the training camp culture made it easier for fixers with soccer-playing backgrounds to mobilize many active players. Finally, the follow-up measures after the scandal only targeted illegal betting operators or individual player immorality, which allowed the government to continue to play a dual role as both the operator of the sports gambling business and the protector of sport integrity.

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Han, S. Match-fixing under the state monopoly sports betting system: a case study of the 2011 K-League scandal. Crime Law Soc Change 74, 97–113 (2020).

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