Sportradar Integrity Services, a division of global sports technology giant Sportradar, has detected more than 1,100 suspicious sports matches since the start of the global pandemic in April 2020, with 655 of those matches detected in the first nine months of 2021.
To mark this announcement on the scale of match fixing, Sportradar has chosen to ramp up its commitment to protecting the integrity of sport by making its Universal Fraud Detection System (UFDS) free of charge, effective from today.
In the last 18 months, Sportradar has utilised this bet monitoring system to detect suspicious activity in 12 different sports across more than 70 countries worldwide. It is available to sports federations, sports leagues, and state authorities around the world.
According to Sportradar’s UFDS figures, soccer is the sport at most risk of betting related corruption with more than 500 suspicious matches detected in 2021 to date.
Approximately 40% of the suspicious activities reported within domestic soccer competitions comes from third tier leagues and below, including youth level, as fixers increase their attention on lower-level matches.
Andreas Krannich, Managing Director, Integrity Services at Sportradar, said: “As our analysis shows, match-fixing is evolving, and those behind it are diversifying their approach, both in the sports and competitions they target, and the way they make approaches to athletes, such as the rise in digital approaches.
“To help address this, Sportradar has made a significant investment to make it possible to offer the UFDS for free to global sports organisations and leagues. The reason for this is that we are committed to supporting the sustainability of global sports and using data and technology for good.”
The rising popularity of esports has also made it a target for fixers and has led to a rapid increase in the number of suspicious matches reported. Over 70 suspicious matches have been detected by the UFDS since April last year, spanning five different game titles, with more than 40 of those suspicious matches identified since January this year.
In addition to the suspicious soccer and esports matches detected this year, UFDS detected suspicious activity in 37 matches, 19 basketball matches, 11 table tennis matches, 9 ice hockey matches and 6 cricket matches, while suspicious activity has also been identified in volleyball, handball and beach volleyball.
On a global level, the UFDS has detected 382 suspicious matches in Europe so far this year, with Latin America recording 115 suspicious matches in the same period. That’s followed by the Asia Pacific region with 74, Africa with 43, 10 in the Middle East and 9 in North America since the start of January 2021.