Match-fixing is defined as the act of influencing the course or result of a sporting event for personal, sporting or financial gain. A wide variety of different actions can fall into the category of match-fixing. These can include acting passively to shape the progress of a match, and deliberately allowing an opponent to score goals or points. A tennis player, for example, could decide to lose the match before even stepping onto the court. If they then placed a bet on their own defeat, they would be guaranteed to profit financially by losing. Two opposing teams colluding in a match, with the aim of preventing one or other being relegated or promoted from one league to another, is also widespread.
Such collusion in sport is far from a new phenomenon. The number of occasions on which contests have been fixed to make a profit by betting on the results has increased sharply in recent years, however. This has been exacerbated by the participation of international organized criminal groups, and the growth and prevalence of online betting markets, both legal and illegal.