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Why it’s on the rise and what can be done about it: CityAM




As sporting events take place in an unfamiliar environment, the integrity of competitions has come to the fore as match fixing grows and evolves.

The global pandemic has created many new challenges for the sports world, none more important than how criminals have been able to intensify their activities and become more aggressive in their activities.

While an influx of new leagues has provided a significant boost to sports, bookmakers and the public following the outbreak of Covid-19, the dynamics of betting tracking have changed significantly and risks have been raised to new heights.

Read more: Too Much of a Good Thing: Are 24-Hour Matches Cause Football Fatigue?

Match fixing takes shape in various forms; we know this firsthand as 50 percent of total matches escalated as suspicious by Sportradar Integrity Services in 2020 came from outside our formal monitoring agreements and coverage.

Suspicious games affected several sports over the past year, including beach volleyball, basketball, table tennis and ice hockey.

Chances are, the number of suspicious matches outside of our formal systematic monitoring will be much higher, as we were only triggered to look at a small subsection of alerts from our massive intelligence network. We just scratch the surface.

Betting monitoring is and always will be a critical part of the sports ecosystem, but as match fixers employ new tactics, it is critical to stay one step ahead of the criminals.

In an alarming development, direct approaches through social media platforms are increasingly common, with an increase in single individuals unaffiliated with traditional organized syndicates offering money to athletes or referees to influence matches.

From players and officials to clubs, leagues and administrators, more industry stakeholders than ever are prone to manipulation.

Free for everyone

While the fight to uphold the integrity of sports is imperative, we cannot ignore the hardships the sports industry is experiencing, especially the massive loss of revenue due to the ongoing restrictions of Covid-19.

While most sports organizations remain steadfast in their motivation to fight fraudulent activity, unfortunately, integrity is one of the first industries to face austerity as financial concerns intensify, especially for lower-income organizations.

The industry is expected to maintain the same high standards of integrity procedures, but with fewer resources.

This no doubt creates more challenges for sports organizations, with some already getting into trouble as the financial struggles deepen.

We believe that reliable betting tracking tools for sports leagues should be universally available to everyone, regardless of budget.

The fight against match fixing must be continued at all costs, as integrity is fundamental to public confidence in sport. Any violation, at any level of the league, affects all levels of the sport and its fans.

This has been an important factor in our decision to offer our market-leading and Court of Arbitration for Sports approved betting tracking service, the Universal Fraud Detection System (UFDS), free of charge to any global sports federation or competition that wants it. Bet. .

Financial issues should not hinder leagues and federations in their efforts to protect themselves from corruption in their sports.

As the challenges remain, UFDS is critical in detecting irregular betting patterns in markets around the world.

The scalability and reliability of UFDS was proven in 2020, with more than 600,000 matches followed in more than 1,000 leagues and competitions in 26 different sports, twice as many matches as in 2019.

This has been made possible by gains in the implementation of machine learning and other new technologies, which are now important parts of UFDS.

At Sportradar we are more committed than ever to preserving the future of sports. We want to give back and also protect our partners.

Troubled times are coming for all stakeholders, but as match-fixing operations intensify, universal betting monitoring systems are critical in the fight against corruption.

Andreas Krannich is Managing Director, Integrity Services, Sportradar AG

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