SIS report details rise in match-fixing and sports betting turnover passing €1.45 trillion

matchfixing April_26

March 3 – Bet monitoring agency Sportradar Integrity Services (SIS) is reporting a record number of suspicious matches were detected in 2021. A year in which global sports betting turnover topped €1.45 trillion for the first time, according to SIS estimates.

The findings are in a new report by the sports integrity division of Sportradar – ‘Betting Corruption and Match-fixing in 2021’ – and highlights “the serious, ongoing threat match-fixing presents to the integrity of global sport at all levels”, said SIS.

Suspicious betting activity was detected in 903 matches across 10 sports, and in 76 countries. SIS said it was a 2.4% increase on the previous high of 882 suspicious matches recorded in 2019.

Sportradar’s Universal Fraud Detection System (UFDS), monitored more than 500,000 matches in 2021.

Andreas Krannich, managing director, Sportradar Integrity Services, said: “There is no easy short-term solution to the match-fixing issue, and we’re likely to see similar numbers of suspicious matches in 2022, if not more. As the market has developed, so the threat of match fixing has evolved.”

Football has the highest frequency of suspicious matches with one in every 201 fixtures showing irregular betting patterns. These matches are generally in lower-level competitions where the problem is growing. SIS reports that 50% of suspicious cases in domestic leagues came from the third tier or lower, somewhat concerningly, including regional and youth soccer.

The next highest frequency sports showing suspicious matches are esports with one in every 384 and basketball at one in 498.

SIS found that the start of the football season in September and October saw the highest number of suspicious matches detected with 105 and 104, respectively. While 22.5% of suspicious matches were recorded in Sundays.

Sportradar said that while sports betting turnover has surpassed €1.45 trillion, the real figure is likely to be even higher as their figure does not include any other potential financial schemes such as money laundering. “Organized crime syndicates are funded by revenue generated from betting fraud, which can in turn finance other illicit activities,” said Sportradar.

While match-fixing is on the increase, it isn’t growing unchecked. SIS said it workled with its partners to support 65 sanctions in football and tennis: 46 sporting sanctions, 15 criminal sanctions and four sanctions that were both sporting and criminal.

“We can take what we observed in 2021 and ask ourselves as fans of sport, what lessons can we learn? At Sportradar, we believe in adopting a progressive approach to integrity protection, through bet monitoring and intelligence gathering,” said Krannich.

“This has been proven to deliver sanctions against those involved in match-fixing. Preventative measures, such as educating athletes and stakeholders, are also crucially important in the long-term fight against match-fixing.”

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