Sportradar detected record 903 suspicious matches in 2021
Sportradar detected a record number of suspicious matches last year, uncovering suspect activity in 903 games, up 2.4% from 2019’s previous high of 882.
The company’s Integrity Services division has prepared a report entitled ‘Betting Corruption and Match-fixing in 2021’, detailing the “ongoing threat match-fixing presents to the integrity of global sport at all levels.”
Across 10 sports and in 17 countries, its bet-monitoring service, the Universal Fraud Detection System (UFDS), recorded the highest number of suspicious matches in Integrity Services’ 17-year history.
Football fixtures were most likely to be pinged as suspicious, at a rate of one in every 201 matches, and lower-level competitions were more vulnerable to betting fraud. Half of suspicious cases in domestic leagues came from the third tier or lower, including regional and youth football.
This increase in illicit activity, said Sportradar, accompanied a corresponding rise in global sports betting turnover, which climbed to a record-breaking €1.45tn ($1.6tn) for 2021.
But according to Integrity Services’ report, approximately €165m was generated in profit from match-fixing betting, and that’s without factoring in other financial schemes such as money laundering.
Betting fraud funds organised crime syndicates, commented Sportradar, which went on to discuss its efforts to combat match-fixing.
“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,” remarked Andreas Krannich, Sportradar Integrity Services Managing Director.
He added: “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.”