European sports integrity unit ESSA has reported that tennis accounted for 84% of all cases of suspicious betting reported to regulatory authorities.
Tennis alerts have now dominated ESSA’s integrity statistics for seven consecutive quarters since ESSA introduced its quarterly reporting practice at the start of 2015.
The third quarter of 2016 saw 37 cases of suspicious betting activity identified by ESSA and its members, which currently number 22 of the largest regulated international betting operators, with four new members so far this year. Tennis accounted for 31 of those cases with the remainder in football, with three cases, and one case each in table tennis, volleyball and beach volleyball.
ESSA Chairman Mike O’Kane stated: “Our Q3 2016 integrity statistics follow much the same pattern as the previous six quarters, with tennis alerts far exceeding that of any other sport.”
Whilst ESSA and its members welcome recent integrity discussions with the Tennis Review Panel, O’Kane’s editorial highlighted that the Panel’s Interim Report is not due until the first quarter of 2017, a year after it was set up, with another period of consultation to follow before a final report is published.
“Whilst the TIU [Tennis Integrity Unit] has made some welcome additions to its investigatory team, the implementation of any wider recommendations unfortunately looks to be some way off, whilst alerts continue to rise,” O’Kane remarked.
O’Kane’s editorial also drew attention to the conclusions of the recently published in-play position paper by the British Gambling Commission, which found no evidence to show that the integrity risks of in-play betting are greater than pre-event betting.
ESSA’s Q3 integrity report includes an article by the Gambling Commission on that issue and its decision to continue to regulate rather than restrict in-play betting, along with another article from Charles Coppolani, President of French regulator ARJEL, on the integrity process employed during Euro 2016.