International betting integrity body ESSA (Sports Betting Integrity) has strengthened its senior team through the appointment of Jon Russell as its new Chair.
Russell joins ESSA with a wealth of experience, as he currently also holds the position of Global Head of Trading at Betway.
Commenting on his new role, he stated: “I would like to thank the previous Chair, Heike Mayer, for her valuable contribution to ESSA and its members over the last couple of years.
“The association took on a new focus and direction during Heike’s tenure and I will be seeking to work with my board colleagues and the wider membership to build upon on the success of that approach and the positive impact that it has had.
“The year ahead is expected to pose new challenges and opportunities for the sector and ESSA is setting out a clear plan of action to ensure that its members are best placed to meet those. Indeed, being part of a collective global monitoring network has never been of greater importance from both a business and integrity perspective, and I call upon all responsible operators to join us in ESSA.”
The appointment comes as ESSA revealed in its latest update that tennis and football continue to be the most prominent sports in terms of suspicious betting alerts.
In total, following a reported 83 cases of suspicious betting during the fourth quarter of 2018, the annual total of reported cases was 267, of which 178 originated from the sport of tennis, whilst 52 were from football.
Geographically, Europe maintained its position as the primary location of sporting events on which alerts have been generated, totalling 148 (55%) in 2018, with Asia continuing to fill second spot with 48 alerts (18%).
Khalid Ali, ESSA Secretary General, said: “ESSA’s alerts remain an important barometer for gauging betting related corruption globally. Outside of tennis and football, we are beginning to see new threats emerging such as the increased number of alerts on esports.
“Given the multi-jurisdictional nature of match-fixing, regulators around the world are now beginning to make it a requirement for operators to be part of an international monitoring system, which we fully support.”