Football and tennis continued to account for the most suspicious betting alerts in the International Betting Integrity Association (IBIA) Q1 2024 report.

The two sports saw 24 and 18 alerts respectively out of a total of 56 alerts, accounting for 43% and 25%. Alerts increased overall during the quarter, up 65% on Q4 2023 and 12% on Q1 2023, the latter seeing 50 alerts.

After football and tennis, the remaining 14 alerts were spread across four sports – basketball (nine alerts, 16% of total), esports (six, 11%), table tennis (two, 4%) and cricket (one, 1%).

Looking at football in particular, IBIA detailed that the 24 alerts marked a 50% increase on the 16 reported in the fourth quarter of last year and a 60% increase on the 15 reported in the first quarter.

Khalid Ali, IBIA CEO, said: “The first quarter saw an increase in reported alerts highlighting the ongoing challenge our members, sports and regulatory authorities face from corrupt activity, with football and Asia dominating our Q1 report.”

Geographically, Asia accounted for the highest number of alerts at 23, 41% of the total. The continent was followed by North America and South America with 10 alerts respectively (18% of total), Europe with four (7%) and Africa with three (5%). Additionally, 11% of the 56 alerts could not be attributed to any geographical location.

Regarding countries, Turkey was the source of the single largest number of alerts with eight cases being flagged, representing 14% of the total alerts during the quarter. Five of these were for tennis, two for football and one for basketball.

In addition to Turkey, the IBIA also focused on Canada, specifically the province of Ontario. Since market launch in April 2022, Ontario has emerged as one of North America’s biggest betting sectors.

There is considerable debate in Canada as to if or when some of the country’s other 10 provinces, such as Alberta or British Columbia, will launch regulated betting markets.

Looking at Ontario onshore betting channelisation, IBIA noted this figure will reach 92% in 2024 and rise to 97% by 2028, but if Ontario remains the only market then the rest of Canada will see a rate below 15%. 

The association has been working to build up its presence in Ontario/Canada, adding Glitnor Group as its latest regional member earlier this month. The association’s membership plays a key role in informing its integrity data, with its ranks consisting of 50 companies operating over 125 betting and gaming brands.

Ali continued: “IBIA’s alerts are supported by detailed global customer account data only available to IBIA and its membership, which continues to grow, widening our world leading market coverage. 

“That account data provides evidentiary information that is vital for advancing investigations and imposing sanctions. IBIA is committed to continuing to work closely with stakeholders and to providing this important evidence base.”

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