News 12th October 2015

Tennis continues to dominate alerts reported to ESSA

Tennis continues to dominate the number of betting alerts reported to ESSA by its members, which comprise 19 regulated sports betting operators. In the third quarter to 30 September 2015, ESSA members reported 73 alerts to ESSA, 18 of which turned out to be suspicious and one of which is still being investigated. ‘Tennis again constituted the highest number of suspicious alerts (72%), reflecting a worrying trend identified in Q1 and Q2’, wrote ESSA in its Q3 Integrity Report.

In Q2, ESSA’s members also reported 48 alerts regarding tennis matches, 13 of which turned out to be suspicious, less than the 19 suspicious alerts in Q2 and the 17 suspicious alerts in Q1, which came from just 27 alerts reported by ESSA’s members. ESSA confirmed that the suspicious alert still being investigated involves a tennis match, however it has already been counted under the 13 suspicious alerts recorded. Earlier today, the Sports Integrity Initiative reported on how the Italian tennis federation (FIT) had reduced a life ban imposed on two tennis players, which it had convicted of match-fixing.

Football has reported the second highest number of alerts in all three ESSA quarters. Other sports to which ESSA have been alerted by its members include snooker, greyhounds, table tennis, bowls, badminton, volleyball, beach volleyball, horse racing, basketball and ice-hockey.

‘A betting pattern is deemed unusual or suspicious when it involves unexpected activity with atypical bet sizes or volumes that continue even after significant price corrections have been made in order to deter such activity in the market’, read ESSA’s description of what constitutes a suspicious alert. ‘A betting pattern is only confirmed as suspicious after ESSA has made detailed enquiries with all of its members to eliminate any prospect that the unusual patterns could be for legitimate reasons, such as pricing the market incorrectly’.

ESSA is due to host a betting integrity event at the European Parliament on 14 October. For more information on this event, click here. To view analysis of ESSA’s Q2 Integrity Report, click here. ESSA’s Q1 Integrity Report is available here.

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