IBIA witnesses a 48% increase in shady betting
The International Betting Integrity Association (IBIA) has revealed that it recorded a 48% increase in suspicious betting activity from 2019 until 2020. 25% of that increase was allocated to football alone.
270 total cases were reported across 15 sports and 43 countries, and 68 took place in the first quarter. This comes against 183 reports in the previous year, most of which occurred in table tennis and esports. This leads the total number for the four-year period from 2017-2020 to 986 reports recorded, which spanned 95 countries and 17 sports.
Tennis and football were the two sports that witnessed the biggest number of reports at 98 and 61 respectively, making up 59% of the alerts, though this was technically a decrease from the 2019 total of 82%. Out of these football reports, 10 originated from Vietnam.
In the meantime, out of the 98 tennis alerts, 39 of them were taken care of by the International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) and classified as intelligence reports, since they were unrelated to major events that were sanctioned by the world tennis touring bodies. Still, some players involved in such events could possibly fall under the jurisdiction of the ITIA’s Tennis Anti-Corruption Programme (TACP).
Well-known tennis players and officials sanctioned for betting offences in 2020 are Slovakia’s Dagmara Baskova, France’s David Rocher and Bulgarian siblings Karen and Yuri Khachatryan.
Out of the players or teams that got reported for malicious betting activity, 12 of them got sporting or criminal sanctions by the IBIA, with many of them being given lifetime bans.
Khalid Ali, CEO of IBIA, stated:
2020 was a turbulent year for many sectors including the betting industry, which had to adjust its market offering due to the global sports lockdown. As a result, IBIA focused its integrity monitoring activity to take account of new sports tournaments and competitions that emerged. The association is seeking to work with stakeholders to address any potential integrity issues that may be associated with these new events through a range of actions, including promoting a set of standards for the collation of sports data for betting. Whilst there was an increase in overall alerts from 2019 to 2020, it should be noted that the 2020 cases are consistent with the number of alerts reported in both 2017 and 2018.