Report: Bookmaker Flagged $420K Worth of Bets Placed on Arsenal Yellow Card

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 22, 2022

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 29: The Arsenal logo is seen on the LED screen prior to the Premier League match between Arsenal and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Emirates Stadium on November 29, 2020 in London, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

A bookmaker based outside the United Kingdom alerted the International Betting Integrity Association after around $420,000 worth of wagers were placed on an unnamed Arsenal player to receive a yellow card during a Premier League match this season.

Joey D'Urso of The Athletic reported the update Saturday after England's Football Association previously confirmed it was aware of the allegations.

"The FA is aware of the matter in question and is looking into it," a spokesperson told ESPN's James Olley on Wednesday.

The player in question proceeded to receive a yellow card and put the bookmaker on the hook for over $1 million in losses, per D'Urso.

Other gambling insiders told The Athletic the pattern of betting in that instance was "highly unusual" and raised serious concerns about market manipulation.

Arsenal has not publicly commented on the matter. It's unclear whether the IBIA also launched an investigation into the situation.

The Gunners are next scheduled to play Sunday when they host Burnley for a Premier League fixture at Emirates Stadium. It's the last match before an international break.

In 2018, former Lincoln City defender Bradley Wood was banned from football for six years by the FA for committing 25 breaches of its integrity and betting rules. Wood denied the charges, but the FA said he "influenced a football betting market" during the 2016-17 FA Cup.

Sports betting has risen in popularity in recent years, especially in the United States, where the practice has become legal in more states.

Along with wagers such as which team will win a game, there are also prop bets that allow bettors to wager on minor events throughout a game. In the case of soccer, that includes events like corner kicks, the time of goals or whether a certain player will get a card.

Organizations like the IBIA are tasked with identifying whether there's any malicious activity when unusual wagers garner atypical interest before or during a game.