China’s Illegal e-Sports Toto Affected Korea
In China, new types of illegal e-sports gambling sites began to flourish a few years ago. These are so-called “Toto” gambling sites that receive dividends if they bet on the results of various e-sports events to win or lose. Previously, illegal e-sports Toto sites, which used to gamble on the results of official e-sports competitions, are using the results of games played on personal broadcasts of famous professional gamers and popular BJs as the subject of gambling.
In particular, controversy is growing as not only professional gamers in China but also Korean professional gamers have been used for gambling. Lee Sang-hyuk, the most popular professional gamer in Korea, is also the most popular gambling event in China, a Chinese official said. This is because many people participate in gambling, so even if they bet a large amount, the dividend rate does not change much.”
I tried to connect directly to see how illegal eSports Toto is actually operating. However, an illegal e-sports Toto site in China, which became famous in Korea due to the incident, was inaccessible with Korean IP. Other sites were also inaccessible or restricted to Korean IPs.
So I looked into the illegal e-Sports Toto site that was in question through an official from the Chinese e-sports industry. Under the big classification of e-sports games and personal broadcasting, betting was being made in various sports, including League of Legends, Dota 2, and counter strikes.
When I clicked on the category of personal broadcasting, gambling was being carried out using the personal broadcasts of Chinese e-sports player “Woozi,” who recently announced his retirement, and Chinese popular game troupe Tope Sports’ bot liner “Jackie Love.” In addition to checking the dividend rate in case of victory, the dividend rate in case of defeat, and the duration of the game, the player was able to watch the game directly through the app. In addition, the names of many professional gamers in Korea and China were also shown, confirming that private broadcasting of many players, regardless of nationality or sport, was being used for gambling. 안전놀이터
The biggest problem is that illegal e-sports Toto is not just gambling. Those who bet on gambling naturally induce match-fixing or participate in match-fixing to earn dividends. In the case of official competitions, those who can participate in match fixing are limited to those who directly participate in the competition, but games played through personal broadcasting can be participated by anyone with an account with similar skills. Match fixing can be as easy as that.
In particular, many Chinese users, including professional players, are accessing Korean servers in League of Legends. As illegal e-sports gambling sites are prevalent in China, it is easy to expect that some people will access Korean servers for match fixing purposes. If a user who accesses to enjoy the game purely without intent to manipulate the game can participate in a game similar to that of the player, he or she can receive a match-fixing offer at any time regardless of nationality.
Riot China has also recognized the seriousness of the problem and tried to solve it over the past few years, but has not achieved actual results. This is because most of them are based overseas, which is not subject to their own laws, like other illegal sports Toto sites, making it difficult to punish them. This is a concern not only for China but also for most countries suffering from illegal sports gambling. It is a problem that is difficult to deal with at the government level.
Riot Korea said on the issue, “In connection with China’s illegal betting sites, some overseas users are aware of the seriousness of deliberately intervening in the LCK players’ winning or losing the solo rank, which is unacceptable. As soon as he recognized the issue, he asked the LPL to cooperate quickly on whether illegal betting sites could be closed and how to prevent illegal betting sites from being promoted on platforms in China.
At the same time, measures that can be taken on their own are also being quickly identified. Right now, the league will temporarily open a league-level hotline to strengthen monitoring of suspicious situations so that LCK players can quickly report defeat-inducing activities related to illegal betting.
These short-term measures, of course, are under discussion, as well as long-term measures that can fundamentally prevent them. In addition to the measures we just mentioned, we are currently reviewing additional measures, and we will guide you as soon as we confirm them.