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Match Fixing Reaches Record High In 2021


The latest report on match fixing and sports betting from Sportradar Integrity Services, ‘Betting Corruption and Match-fixing in 2021’, has revealed a record number of suspicious activity in sporting events in global sport.

The report also showed a record number of money bet on sports in 2021, with global sports betting turnover now estimated at more than $2.1 trillion.

Explicitly, the Sportradar report found suspicious activity in 903 sporting events last year across 10 sports and 76 countries, through its betting monitor service, the Universal Fraud Detection System (UFDS).

The 2021 figures are the highest in the 17 years Sportradar has been investigating match fixing and represent a 2.4% increase on the previous record set in 2019 of 882 suspicious events.

The total number of match fixing events equalled approximately $247 million in match-fixing betting profit, with Sportradar saying the figure may be even higher as it does not take into consideration other financial schemes such as money laundering.

In line with the continued rollout of its UFDS in global sport, which monitored more than 500,000 sporting events across 2021, Sportradar confirmed throughout 2021 it helped its partners deliver 65 sanctions for suspicious activity, including 46 sporting sanctions, 15 criminal sanctions, and four sanctions categorised as both sporting and criminal.

The UFDS, which is currently used by more than 120 sporting organisations around the world, was made available free of charge to all sporting organisations in October.

The report also found football had the highest frequency of reported suspicious matches with one recorded in every 201 fixtures, followed by esports which had one in every 384 fixtures, and basketball which had one in every 498 fixtures.

Sportradar betting match fixing integrity

Discussing the findings of the report, Sportradar Integrity Services managing director, Andreas Krannich, said: “There is no easy short-term solution to the match-fixing issue, and we’re likely to see similar numbers of suspicious matches in 2022, if not more.”

“As the market has developed, so the threat of match fixing has evolved.

“Now, would-be corruptors take an increasingly direct approach to match-fixing and betting corruption, with athletes messaged directly via social-media platforms.

“We can take what we observed in 2021 and ask ourselves as fans of sport, what lessons can we learn?

“At Sportradar, we believe in adopting a progressive approach to integrity protection, through bet monitoring and intelligence gathering.

“This has been proven to deliver sanctions against those involved in match-fixing.

“Preventative measures, such as educating athletes and stakeholders, are also crucially important in the long-term fight against match-fixing,” Krannich said.

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