Betting integrity body ESSA has confirmed that they reported 41 cases of suspicious betting activity to the relevant gambling regulatory and sports governing authorities during the second quarter of 2016.
Tennis accounted for 34 (83%) of the 41 cases, with four for Football and one each for Snooker, Handball and Beach Volleyball. 24 of the cases were identified in European events, with five each in Asia and Africa, three each for North and South America, and one case with no specific origin.
The latest report includes comments from Mike O’Kane about some of the actions taken by ESSA during the quarter, including concluding integrity information sharing deals with the French and Lithuanian gambling regulators, and a trial partnership with Sportradar focused specifically on tennis.
It also features an article by the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU), which explains some of the improvements they are trying to make to what is regularly the most targeted sport. This includes player education for those coming into the sport, with all professionals now having to complete a compulsory online Tennis Integrity Protection Program (TIPP).
Mike O’Kane, ESSA Chairman, said: “It is quite right that the tennis authorities seek to conduct a thorough investigation of its integrity procedures. We must, quite reasonably, give the sport some breathing space to identify and implement any necessary changes, but changes are clearly needed and the sooner the better for us all.
“In the meantime, ESSA will continue to support the sport in this important endeavour, which will hopefully soon result in the delivery of a best practice model that others will follow.”
The ESSA system primarily works on the input provided by its members, notably alerts created by members relating to suspicious transactions detected by internal control systems. A betting pattern is only confirmed as suspicious after ESSA has made detailed enquiries with all of its members to eliminate any prospect that the unusual patterns are for legitimate reasons, such as incorrect pricing.