The betting sting

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British bookies were hit for over £1m by hundreds of punters that exactly predicted the unlikely correct score, a 5-2 win, in the UEFA Cup match between Panionios and Dinamo Tbilisi. 

Bookies avoided major damages by suspending betting some hours before kick-off, when they suspected a betting coup.

“This was a worldwide coup,” said Caspar Hill at Betfair. “To have so many people calling up asking about a 5-2 result is very unusual to say the least. My own view is that the traditional bookmakers were getting worried and tried to hedge their positions with Betfair,” Hill added.

“We have a number of agreements with sporting bodies such as the English FA and Jockey Club which allows us to share the names of the people who have had a bet. We were talking to UEFA about signing such an agreement last week.”

Hill said Betfair, if requested, would share the graphs of the betting patterns with European soccer\’s governing body, but without the agreement they can\’t give them the names because of Data Protection Act.

“It was the most suspicious betting pattern we\’ve seen on any football match we can remember,” a Coral spokesman said.

“In the second half, the Georgians went ahead 2-1 at one stage. The whole team looked at each other as though that wasn’t supposed to happen. The Georgian keeper appeared to throw the ball into his own net at 3-2,” another bookie said.

A theory blames Russian mafia for the sting as Tblisi is from Georgia, a former Soviet Republic. There have been other dodgy-looking results in the early stages of the UEFA Cup.

UEFA launched an official investigation.