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IBIA betting alert trends in 2021

According to the International Betting Integrity Association (IBIA), the number of betting warnings registered in 2021 decreased to 239 from 270 in 2020.

This is part of a larger trend that has been 'constant in previous years' and has resulted in an average yearly number of betting warnings of 240 between 2018 and 2020.

Geographically, Europe continues to have the biggest number of integrity warnings with 188 – 50% of all incidents started on the continent – and Russia had the highest share of any other nation with 27.

Meanwhile, despite the region's expansion of the sports betting business, alerts from North America declined to 10, a 54 percent fall from the 22 recorded in 2020, while alerts from the United States decreased by 76 percent, from 17 to four.

In South America, eight alerts were issued for football (seven for Brazil, one for Colombia), seven for tennis (two for Brazil, two for Chile, one for Argentina, and two for Bolivia), one for beach volleyball (Brazil), and one for futsal (Brazil).

Khalid Ali, CEO of IBIA, said: “Another challenging year for the sector has passed with the spectre of COVID and its impact on sporting events declining, and hopefully a potential endgame in sight. It is therefore welcomed that the alerts for 2021 showed a downward trend and a return to pre-COVID numbers.

“Challenges however persist, notably with the growth of private sports events and establishing integrity protocols to the levels seen in traditional sports bodies. The association is working with a number of stakeholders in this area to improve integrity provisions.”

However, the repeating trend of football and tennis dominating the most betting alerts remained, with 80 and 66 alerts, respectively. In the case of tennis, this constituted an 18 percent reduction from the 98 reported in 2020, indicating that the sport is on a 'downward trend,' according to the IBIA.

Tennis alerts totalled 178 in 2018 and 101 the following year, indicating a long-term drop in tennis integrity concerns, with alerts at the International Tennis Federation (ITF) level falling by 26% from 50 in 2020 to 37 in 2021.

On the other side, the number of football cases grew by 8% to 66, up from 61 the previous year, the greatest number ever recorded by the IBIA. Seven alerts came from Brazil – the most from any single nation for soccer – while African football betting alerts increased from one in 2020 to nine last year.

“Indeed, the dangers of betting corruption remain, and as the Optimum Betting Market report published last year highlighted, that equates to around $25m per annum in lost revenue for the regulated betting sector globally,” Ali continued.

“It is therefore welcome that the requirement for operators to be part of an integrity monitoring system have gathered pace across the US, and have been endorsed in Sweden, to add to existing requirements in the Netherlands, Germany and the Czech Republic.

“The approach in Ontario is particularly worthy of attention and is a best practice model. The association looks forward to working with a wider range of operators on integrity as a result.”

In 2021, the IBIA recorded 239 alarms across 13 sports and 49 different countries, while 1,222 alerts were reported across 19 sports and 101 countries across the five years from 2017 to 2021.

The IBIA announced sporting or criminal punishments against 11 teams or players it identified as being engaged in suspicious matches last year, with the organization and its members contributing to the imposition of'significant consequences,' such as lifelong bans.


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