Eurovision cheating scandal over claims of illegal betting involving Malta entry

Eurovision has been hit by fresh woes – over claims of a betting ­scandal involving the Malta entry.

Concerns have surfaced that allege taxpayer money was used to try to manipulate betting odds in favour of Je Me Casse, sung by Destiny Chukunyere.

Minister Carmelo Abela has ordered an audit of the spending after the board of Malta’s broadcaster PBS, which is responsible for the entry, raised fears of “financial mismanagement”.

Two sources said Malta dished out 650,000 euros (£550,000) between the Malta Tourism Authority and PBS.

Sources said one PBS insider admitted that part of the budget was spent on financing foreign nationals placing bets on Destiny, the Times of Malta reported.

Eurovision - Malta
Malta apparently used taxpayer money to try to manipulate betting odds

The Malta Tourism Authority spent 350,000 euros (£300,000) on promotions including through social media.

Destiny, 18, reached the final of ­Britain’s Got Talent in 2017 and she won Junior ­Eurovision in 2015.

The singer ranked third favourite with ­bookmakers before heading into the final last Saturday night.

One Eurovision betting expert said: “It’s claimed Malta was ploughing money into Betfair to keep Destiny as favourite.

Eurovision - Italy
Italy won this year’s Eurovision

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“They know that creates positive PR and ensures viewers pay more attention.

“They really felt Destiny had winning potential and were desperate to come first because of the tourism boom it would bring to the country.”

Malta finished in 7th place with 255 points.

Earlier this week the frontman of winning Italian rockers Maneskin was cleared of taking drugs during the live final.

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