The International Betting Integrity Association (IBIA) has reported a decrease in global suspicious alerts.
The organisation has published its 2023 Integrity Report, outlining a successful year due to a decrease in global suspicious alerts and an increase in successful sanctions for sports betting violations.
Khalid Ali, CEO of IBIA, said: “The fall in last year’s global alert numbers is encouraging. It confirms that our world leading monitoring and alert network is making a very important contribution to deterring criminals from seeking to defraud our members.”
Figures show that the total number of suspicious sports betting alerts reported in 2023 fell to 184, which represents a decrease of 35%, on the revised 2022 figure of 285 alerts.
Last year’s success is reinforced, as statistics show the number of alerts are significantly below the average of 244 annual alerts for the 2019 to 2022 period, despite IBIA’s growing ability to detect and deter suspicious betting activity.
“Increased collaboration between IBIA, sports and regulators is a winning combination,” added Ali, with the organisation now accounting for over US$137bn of global betting turnover per annum, making IBIA the world’s leading operator-run integrity monitoring body.
In 2023, IBIA alerts contributed to the investigations and successful sanctions of 21 clubs, players and officials, which is an increase on the 15 sanctioned in 2022.
Across all sports, the report shows an increase in successful sanctions for sports betting violations. Of the 21 aforementioned cases, there were eight tennis players, seven umpires and four snooker players, with several of the cases leading to lifetime bans.
Through more detailed analysis, football was the sport with the majority of alerts with a total of 63, which IBIA says is ‘relatively consistent over time’, as 67 alerts were reported in 2022 and 66 reported in 2021.
It is the first year that tennis has fewer alerts than football with 54, which represents a 49% decrease on the 2022 total of 106, supporting the YoY reduction that IBIA has seen over recent years in the sport.
Ali stated: “The ongoing decrease in tennis alerts, along with notable reductions in table tennis and esports, is very encouraging. IBIA will continue to work closely with the International Tennis Integrity Agency and other important partners in the sports sector to exchange information on suspicious betting and to support the prosecution of wrongdoing.
“The progress made in tennis over a number of years now demonstrates that successfully identifying and sanctioning match-fixing sends a powerful message to athletes and officials about the risks of engaging in match-fixing.”
In regards to countries, the UK reported the most alerts (31), followed by Czech Republic (18) and Brazil (11), with the latter of the countries confirming the importance of the legal requirement for regulated sports betting operators to join an international sports integrity monitoring body, which was recently introduced in Brazil.
Despite Europe remaining the most prominent source of suspicious betting, IBIA has said that the biggest threat to integrity comes from unregulated operators.
Ali concluded: “We must remain vigilant and recognise that the greatest threat to sports integrity comes from unregulated operators, most notably in Asia.”