Colorado Turns The Ukrainian Tennis Tables Off

Posted on July 10, 2020

Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, table tennis is all the rage.

That is certainly the case for Colorado sports bettors, but also for wagerers across the country.

The lack of major US sports explains that.

At least for the foreseeable future, Ukrainian table tennis is no longer an option for Colorado sports bettors.

Colorado is the latest state to suspend Ukrainian table tennis, making it official on Friday afternoon. New Jersey made a similar move on Friday.

As is the case with the New Jersey decision, match-fixing is behind the stoppage in Colorado. While there isn’t evidence yet, the Colorado Division of Gaming isn’t taking any risks.

The Colorado Division of Gaming issued the following statement on Friday:

“The Division received credible information, from integrity monitoring, of potential match-fixing and inconsistencies in betting patterns in at least one foreign country on Ukrainian table tennis. Not having any specific issues with betting in the US, as a precautionary and preemptive action, the Division of Gaming has suspended betting on Ukrainian table tennis until more evidence is received one way or another. The Division does not have any evidence that match-fixing or any unusual betting patterns have surfaced in the Colorado market. The Division of Gaming will continue to monitor every sport within the approved catalog to ensure the integrity and honesty in the industry for the people of Colorado.”

Integrity questions

The first questions about the integrity of Ukrainian table tennis surfaced in late May.

At the time, ESPN asked, “Are the matches legit?”

They proceeded to list the various ways the sport is shrouded in secrecy, including how bettors get information.

According to ESPN:

“If bettors want to verify results on an official league site, learn who’s running the matches or even know where the games are taking place, they’re mostly out of luck. Event organizers, participants, oddsmakers and sportsbooks are reluctant to talk about any of it in detail. Table tennis’s top governing bodies say they’re not sanctioning the events.”

Is Russian table tennis next?

Given the sports bettors in Colorado can’t get enough of the sport, it’ll be interesting to see if the Division of Gaming adds Moscow Liga Pro (Russian table tennis) to its suspension list.

In early June, Indiana limited the table tennis betting options. If sports bettors in the Hoosier State want to wager on table tennis, they must do so from member countries of the International Table Tennis Federation or European Table Tennis Union.

Will the Division of Gaming follow a similar path?

The good news for Colorado sports bettors is major US sports are closer to returning.

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Ian St. Clair

Ian St. Clair is an award-winning sports journalist. He is a University of Northern Colorado graduate, Colorado native and has over a decade of experience covering college and professional athletics.

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