Tennis and esports lead IBIA Q1 betting alerts report

The International Betting Integrity Association (IBIA) has published its report for Q1 2021, revealing that tennis, esports and football accounted for the bulk of alerts.

Overall, 18 alerts were generated by tennis, 17 by esports and 12 by football, making up 75% of the 64 total alerts reported, although it has been emphasised that this figure is ‘broadly similar’ to the 68 cases in Q4 2020 and the 61 alerts in Q1 2020.

Of the 18 tennis alerts, six intelligence match reports were provided to the International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) as they did not relate to events sanctioned by the major international tennis tours, although individual players involved in these events may be investigated by the Tennis Anti-Corruption Programme (TACP).

After the three aforementioned sports, table tennis accounted for seven cases, followed by basketball at five and volleyball at four, whilst only one was generated by horse racing.

The figure for table tennis in particular was noted as a significant drop when compared to the 26 alerts recorded for Q2 2020, with the seven alerts reported remaining consistent with the alerts for Q3 and Q4 2020.

“After a difficult 2020, many operators appear to be close to normality in terms of their pre-pandemic market offering,” said Khalid Ali, CEO of the IBIA.

“This is reflected in the alert numbers and geographical spread for Q1, with a refocus on those sports that have traditionally and numerically dominated the betting offer globally, namely tennis and football.”

Geographically, the report identified Europe and Asia were the continents responsible for the generation of the majority of cases, accounting for 66%. Cases were reported across 20 different countries, but a quarter of warnings originated from Russia and Bulgaria at 10 and six respectively.

Ali concluded: “The association and its members continue to work closely with those sports, and indeed all sports that wish to engage with us, to identify potential corruption and to seek robust sanctions to punish and deter such illicit activity.”

The IBIA maintains partnerships with a number of betting operators including major firms such as Entain – as well as its Ladbrokes and Coral brands – William Hill, bet365 and BetVictor, and recently enhanced its reach in the European and American betting space by integrating Belgian company Gaming1.

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