NBA 2K20’s all pro tournament has provided bookmakers with another hurdle as the competition’s results leaked online, meaning that all online operators were forced to close betting markets on the event.
Most bookmakers seemed to be under the impression that the NBA 2K Players Tournament would be aired live on ESPN, however the matches were instead pre-recorded prior to the broadcast resulting in bookmakers markets becoming compromised.
David Strauss, Head oddsmaker at MyBookie.ag, stated to Reuters: “It became clear that somebody knew something, and that the results had been leaked. That’s a nightmare scenario for us. When a result is compromised, we close the lines and look for the info ourselves.
“It’s almost always in the forums or on Twitter.”
The leaks became apparent when the competition’s bottom seeded player Derrick Jones had an influx of bets being placed on him before his match against top seed Kevin Durant, one of the favourites to win the tournament.
SportsBetting.ag odds manager Robert Cooper added: “We initially made Durant the favorite to win the tournament but when …. the bets were completely one-sided toward Jones, it became obvious that someone knew the outcome of the game.”
The leaks have raised questions about the validity of betting on an unknown entity such as esports. With bookmakers unaware if an event is live or pre-recorded, it could cause serious complications with regards to providing markets and ensuring that results are not leaked.
However with live-sports scheduling not looking any closer to returning, many online operators have no option but to turn to esports to continue engaging fans.
As live sport has continued to cease, bookmakers have produced odds on events such as Leyton Orient’s FIFA20 competition, which featured live games and the EWBSS boxing super series.
Bookmakers will likely be more cautious when choosing which online tournament to provide markets on as potential leaks and compromised odds can increase financial costs that have already been impacted by COVID-19.