Sports betting, turnover is growing but so are suspicious matches

Sportradar conducted a survey on the world of sports betting. From what emerges in 2022, the total global turnover of sports betting amounted to 1.41 trillion euros, of which 730 billion euros on football alone.

On average, €89 million was wagered on each match in the Italian Serie A. As reported by agipronews, this is what emerges from the annual report of Sportradar, “Betting Corruption and Match-fixing in 2022”. The Italian Serie A is confirmed in the Top 10 of the most wagered leagues in the world: the Champions League is at the top of the standings, with an average of 225 million euros, ahead of the English Premier League with 202 million. Third place for the US NFL with 138 million, then the Indian Premier League (135 million) and the Spanish Liga (95 million). Out of the Top 5 are the Europa League, which stops at an average of 91 million, and the German Bundesliga (85 million).

In 2022, 1,212 were also identified matches suspicious, in 12 different sports and in 92 countries, out of 850,000 events monitored by Sportradar Integrity Services, the Sportradar unit that published the second annual report, “Betting Corruption and Match-fixing in 2022”. Although there has been an absolute increase in the number of reports (+34% compared to 2021), the percentage of risk events remains low: the data confirms that 99.5% of matches are not affected by match-fixing attempts and no single sport has a suspicious match ratio above 1%.

Football protagonist

Football, notes agipronews, scores the highest number of suspicious matches (775) and, in 2022, 52% of suspicious football matches came from the third level or lower, including regional leagues and youth competitions. One of the key trends of 2022, the report reads, was the sharp increase in basketball (220 events, +250% compared to 2021). Europe continues to register the highest number of alerts (630), followed by Asia (240) and South America (225); compared to 2021, the number of reports increased in every region except North America and Oceania. In one out of two cases, the tool most used by criminals to attempt fraud is the “Asian handicap” bet combined with the number of goals (“Over”), almost always in “live” mode (82%).

Artificial intelligence

Data monitoring occurs continuously throughout the ‘life cycle’ of betting on a match, from the moment it is first offered to the moment it ends. Every year, this means analyzing 30 billion odds changes, from over 600 betting operators. Advances in Sportradar’s Artificial Intelligence (AI), integrated with the Universal Fraud Detection System (UFDS), helped detect 438 suspicious matches (36% of the annual total), leveraging the vast amount of data the company already monitor suspicious bets.

Increased penalties

In addition to advances in technology, the number of criminal and sporting sanctions has also grown in 2022, from 72 to 169 (+135% compared to 2021): using the results of Sportradar Integrity Services as evidence, sanctions have been imposed by sports federations or by the criminal courts to those found guilty of sports fraud and breaking the law.

“We have taken an even more proactive approach to uncovering match-fixing in 2022, from implementing a new AI model to developing more formal working relationships with bookmakers, resulting in over 300 alerts,”

– said Andreas Krannich general manager of Sportradar Integrity Services.

Future scenarios

In 2023, the number of suspicious matches will probably remain constant or slightly increased compared to 2022, due to global economic uncertainties and financial interests, which will continue to affect teams and athletes. Furthermore, integrity is still lacking in various sectors of sport: football will confirm itself in first place by number of reports, but it is very likely that basketball will remain the second sport most affected by the match fixing phenomenon. In terms of geographical spread, Europe will continue to record the highest number of incidents, with South America likely to come close to Asia (currently second in number of suspected matches); growth in Africa is also probable.

“Our technology allows us to monitor more matches on a deeper level, providing more precise and accurate insights to help our partners, our customers and the sports industry at large protect sporting events from corruption. We look forward to supporting even more sports federations in 2023,” – concluded Krannich.


About Post Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.