Tennis and esports lead IBIA betting integrity alerts in Q1 2021

The International Betting Integrity Association (IBIA) reported 64 suspicious betting events to authorities during the first quarter of 2021.

Tennis and esports events were the main sports of concern in the IBIA’s update.

IBIA Q1 update

In its update, the integrity body flagged 64 suspicious betting alerts to authorities in the first quarter of 2021. 

Of the 64 alerts for Q1 2021, 18 were generated by tennis, 17 from esports and 12 came from football events. Table tennis accounted for seven alerts, basketball made up five, volleyball followed with four and there was one alert for horse racing.

The IBIA said that these figures were “broadly similar” to the 68 cases reported in Q4 of 2020 and the 61 alerts from Q1 in 2020.

The IBIA reported six tennis matches to the International Tennis Integrity Agency as intelligence reports they were not related to events sanctioned by major tennis operators. However, the IBIA said some of the players in those events may fall under the scope of the body’s Tennis Anti-Corruption Program.

In terms of geographical locations, alerts were registered across 20 countries.

In Q1, 29 alerts came from Europe, with 10 coming from Russia and six from Bulgaria. Seven alerts were registered across tennis, table tennis and football each in Europe, while five alerts came from basketball, two came from volleyball and one from horse racing.

Meanwhile, 13 reports came from Asia, with tennis making up six of these. Three alerts were registered in Africa and these were all related to tennis events.

Two alerts came from South America and both of these were tennis events in Chile. There were no alerts for Australasia or North America.

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

“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.”

This comes after the Global Lottery Monitoring System (GLMS) revealed that it reported 23 suspicious matches to sporting bodies in Q1.

The GLMS’s figures

Last week, the GLMS revealed that it flagged and reported 23 suspicious sporting events to governing bodies during Q1 of 2021.

Of the 23 flagged events, 16 were football matches and seven alerts were sent to UEFA and four to FIFA. 

Three alerts related to Tennis and were referred to the Tennis Integrity Agency, while two esports alerts were sent to the Esports Integrity Commission, and two alerts were sent to the International Olympic Committee. A further eight alerts were sent to other governing bodies.

The GLMS generated 323 alerts during the period, a major increase in the 135 alerts reported during the same period last year. 

Of those 323 alerts, 244 were registered before a match started, 69 were generated once an event ended and 10 were generated while an event was in-play.

The GLMS broke down where the 323 suspicious alerts came from, revealing that 160 suspicious betting activity warnings were reported from Europe. Asia followed behind with 66 alerts, 59 came from South America, and North America generated 14 alerts.