Sportradar continues to keep a close eye on sports and serves as a guarantor of fairness for everyone who is looking to bet on athletic contests. In the data and integrity company’s history, though, the recent Betting Corruption and Match-Fixing Report has posted the highest number of suspicious matches. The period covered by the report focuses on 2021 and cites 903 signals of potential foul play.
Europe Home of the Most Match-Fixing Signals
The number is also higher from the previous record when 883 suspicious signals were posted in 2018. The present games took place across ten different sports and a total of 76 countries with the Universal Fraud Detection System (UFDS), a dedicated tool by Sportradar, flagging each strange betting behavior that was spotted around these games.
The UFDS makes it so that aberrant betting behavior is flagged and investigated by sports bodies, national regulators and in many cases, police authorities. Europe topped the number of most suspicious games, though, with 525, a surprising fact given that the continent hosts some of the biggest sports leagues and championships.
Another 161 came from Asia and just 131 were followed from South America. Commenting on these suspicious signals, Sportradar managing director Andreas Krannich said:
“The global issues of the past few years have put financial pressure on competitions, teams, and athletes, and match-fixers are clearly taking advantage. In 2021 we witnessed a record number of suspicious matches.”
Sportradar managing director Andreas Krannich
Europe is also the most mature betting market out there, which means that there is better scrutiny on games and athletic contests.
Match-Fixing More Easily Detectable But Continues to Be Threat
The UFDS may not be able to collect complete offshore betting data and only works with partners willing to assist. Soccer led the way in terms of suspicious betting activity with 694 instances. Surprisingly basketball and tennis came second and third with 62 and 53 cases respectively.
September and October saw the most matches flagged per month with 105 and 104 signals respectively. Meanwhile, Sportradar’s Global Betting Turnover Model now believes that sports betting generated €1.45 trillion ($1.61 trillion) in 2021 alone. Soccer contributed some €745 billion ($825 billion) for that, tennis followed with €190 billion ($210.50 billion) and last was basketball with €185 billion ($205 billion).
Meanwhile, Krannich warned that while the UFDS and others become more precise in capturing and detecting such behaviors, match-fixing is a constant threat that still needs to be addressed and eliminated. Previously, Sportradar warned that match-fixers are becoming smarter in the way they organize these activities.