The International Betting Integrity Association (IBIA) has reported 61 cases of suspicious betting to the relevant authorities during Q1 2020.
The figure marks a 36% increase in the number of suspicious betting cases reported during Q4 2019, and a 65% increase compared to the same period last year.
Khalid Ali, CEO of IBIA, said: “The industry’s main focus is quite understandably on product availability and business viability in a particularly challenging period for the sector globally. That said, it is important to note that the vulnerability of sports and betting to corruption remains an ever-present danger to operator finances.”
In particular, Mr. Ali stated, “IBIA saw an increase in suspicious betting activity in the week leading to the global sports shutdown, highlighting the opportunism of corrupters.” And on this note, he went on to highlight the importance of extra vigilance when sport returns “Whilst there has since been a relative lull, we fully expect the business threat to rise as sport is restored and betting product catalogues return to a level of normality. Indeed, it is clear that corrupt individuals and groups are still operating and seeking to exploit the current situation.”
Europe accounted for the majority of Q1 2020 alerts, with 44%. This compared to 30% of alerts originating in Asia, 11% in Africa, 10% in South America and 5% in North America. Russia was responsible for the highest number of alerts in an individual country, recording 11 instances of suspicious betting activity.
The continuing long term trends, tennis (ATP Challenger, Futures) generated 31 alerts, by far the highest of any sport. Meanwhile, 18 cases were reported for football, 5 for basketball, 4 for table tennis and one each in volleyball, cricket and boxing.
Specifically, the TIU (Tennis Integrity Unit) has published an official press release in which 38 reports were reported in the first quarter of 2020. The period takes into consideration the time frame from 1 January 2020 to 22 March 2020, because there were no Tennis tournaments after this date due to the coronavirus emergency. All the notices came from minor tournaments: 6 from the ATP Challenger and 32 – equally divided between male and female tournaments – from the Futures.
Once more, ATP Challenger and Futures Tennis tournaments are the most exposed to match-fixing. So be careful when you bet on these markets.