The number of suspicious bets in the second quarter of 2023 fell significantly on the corresponding time period in 2022, according to the International Betting Integrity Association (IBIA).
A total of 50 alerts were reported to relevant sporting authorities by the IBIA, down 44% from 88 in Q2 2022, with football once again the sport which generated the most alerts at 19, accounting for 38% of all reports.
Football was followed by tennis at 14 (28% of alerts), table tennis at 8 (16%), darts at five (10%) and boxing, bowls, esports and badminton at one each, meaning the last four sports accounted for 2% of total alerts each.
Khalid Ali, IBIA CEO, said: “The second quarter of the year saw a welcome downward trend with 44% less suspicious alerts compared to Q2 2022, and a near 30% decline in the first half of 2023 when considered against 2022.”
On the other hand, the 50 alerts in Q2 2023 did amount to a small increase of 4% on the revised Q1 2023 figure of 48, with the number of football alerts increasing by 27% from 15 although still 41% lower than 32 the year before.
The IBIA was keen to focus on the almost 60% decline in tennis alerts from 29 to the aforementioned 12, with Ali citing the efforts of the International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA), which concluded several investigations this year.
Ali continued: “Much of that decline is a result of collaborative cross-sector efforts headed by the International Tennis Integrity Agency to eradicate match-fixing in tennis, the success of which was highlighted by the prison sentence recently handed out by a Belgian court.
“That judgement sends a clear and unequivocal message to corrupters that they will be caught, and harsh sanctions imposed.”
On the Belgian court decision, he added: “The outcome is very welcome and IBIA congratulates the ITIA on its collaborative partnership working with key stakeholders and its continued resolve to identify and punish illicit activity. IBIA’s responsible regulated betting operators remain committed to working closely with sports to weed out corruption.”
Geographically, Europe accounted for the most alerts with 34 – spread across football, tennis, table tennis, badminton, bowls, boxing and darts – with the UK the country with the single largest number of alerts globally.
A total of nine alerts were reported from Britain, accounting for 18% of the total worldwide figure although marking a decrease of five alerts from the 14 reported last year. Alerts came from four sports; darts (five), football (two), boxing (one) and bowls (one).
Following Europe, seven alerts came from Africa, all of which were from football matches; six from South America, four from football and two from tennis; and lastly two from North America, one from football and one from tennis.
Finally, the IBIA’s Q2 update has also featured a special spotlight on the Netherlands, where the betting market continues to mature after regulation of online gaming under the KOA Act in October 2021.
With the addition of LeoVegas this week, there are now 25 licensed betting companies in the Netherlands and the IBIA has cited H2 Gambling Capital data suggesting that onshore betting revenue currently stands at €690bn, although offshore i.e. suspicious betting stands at €800bn.
However, the number of suspicious sports matches in the Netherlands remains comparatively low when compared to other countries. The IBIA put the total number at eight between 2018-2022 – during which time the market was re-regulated by the KOA Act – across tennis (three), football (three), beach volleyball (one) and darts (one).