The International Betting Integrity Association (IBIA) has revealed it received 64 betting alerts for Q1 2021, with Europe and Asia accounting for the vast majority of reports.
Overall, Europe and Asia accounted for 66% of reports, with cases reported across 20 different countries, although 10 and six originated in Russia and Bulgaria respectively, making up a quarter of all warnings.
Betting alerts for tennis, esports and football comprised 75% of the 64 reports at 18, 17 and 12 each, although the IBIA emphasised that this figure is ‘broadly similar’ to the 61 cases in Q1 2020 and 68 alerts reported for Q4 2020.
The organisation had previously reported a 25% increase in alerts for football alone in 2020, which along with tennis, esports and table tennis accounted for 86% of all warnings that year.
Six of the 18 tennis alerts were sent to the International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) as intelligence reports, as they did not relate to events sanctioned by the major international tennis tours, but individual players could still be investigated by the Tennis Anti-Corruption Programme (TACP) for involvement in the suspicious events.
“After a difficult 2020, many operators appear to be close to normality in terms of their pre-pandemic market offering,” commented Khalid Ali, CEO of the IBIA.
“This is reflected in the alert numbers and geographical spread for Q1, with a refocus on those sports that have traditionally and numerically dominated the betting offer globally, namely tennis and football.”
Whilst tennis, esports and football dominated the report, the IBIA has noted that table tennis accounted for only seven cases, consistent with the number of alerts for both the third and fourth quarters of 2021, and a significant drop from the 26 warnings reported for Q2 2020.
Additionally, basketball accounted for just five and volleyball for four, whilst horse racing generated only one alert.
Ali added: “The association and its members continue to work closely with those sports, and indeed all sports that wish to engage with us, to identify potential corruption and to seek robust sanctions to punish and deter such illicit activity.”