IBIA: betting alerts continued to decline in 2021

The IBIA says its alerts resulted in 11 sporting or criminal sanctions in 2021.
The IBIA says its alerts resulted in 11 sporting or criminal sanctions in 2021.

The IBIA has reported that the number of betting alerts globally fell by 13 per cent year-on-year.

Belgium- The International Betting Integrity Association (IBIA) has reported that the number of betting alerts it recorded in 2021 fell to 239, down 13 per cent from 270 in 2020.

The IBIA noted that this followed a “consistent” trend in recent years. The average number of annual betting alerts between 2018 and 2020 was 240. Meanwhile, 11 sporting or criminal sanctions were issued as a result of IBIA alerts. 

Europe continues to represent the largest source for integrity alerts at 188, followed by Russia with 27. In the US, where legal sports betting has continued to roll out across the country, reports fell by three quarters from 17 in 2020 to just 4 in 2021. There were 17 alerts from South America, 11 of those from Brazil.

IBIA CEO Khalid Ali said: “Another challenging year for the sector has passed with the spectre of COVID and its impact on sporting events declining, and hopefully a potential endgame in sight. It is therefore welcomed that the alerts for 2021 showed a downward trend and a return to pre-COVID numbers. 

“Challenges however persist, notably with the growth of private sports events and establishing integrity protocols to the levels seen in traditional sports bodies. The association is working with a number of stakeholders in this area to improve integrity provisions.”

Football (80 alerts) and tennis (66) remain the two sports that generate the most betting alerts, but the number of alerts related to tennis fell by 18 per cent year-on-year from 98 in 2020.

That continues a trend with alerts down from 101 in 2019 and 178 in 2018. The International Tennis Federation (ITF) has also reported a decrease in betting alerts, from 50 in 2020 to 37 in 2021.

However, in the other direction, football betting alerts rose by 8 per cent to 66, the highest number yet recorded in one year. The largest number came from Brazil (seven), while African countries reported nine alerts, up from just one in 2020.

See also: Football friendlies have bigger match-fixing risk, report finds

Ali added: “The dangers of betting corruption remain, and as the Optimum Betting Market report published last year highlighted, that equates to around $25m per annum in lost revenue for the regulated betting sector globally.

“It is therefore welcome that the requirement for operators to be part of an integrity monitoring system have gathered pace across the US, and have been endorsed in Sweden, to add to existing requirements in the Netherlands, Germany and the Czech Republic. 

“The approach in Ontario is particularly worthy of attention and is a best practice model. The association looks forward to working with a wider range of operators on integrity as a result.”

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