Sportradar: More Than 1,100 Sports Matches Fixed Since Pandemic

Company gives free access to its fraud detection tool as global analysis finds 655 suspicious sports matches since January 2021.
Sportradar: More Than 1,100 Sports Matches Fixed Since Pandemic
October 15, 2021

An analysis by Sportradar Integrity Services (SIS), a subsidiary of global sports betting service provider Sportradar, has discovered more than 1,100 suspicious sports matches since the pandemic started in April 2020, including 655 that took place during the first nine months of 2021.

In response, Sportradar announced that it will provide services from its Universal Fraud Detection System (UFDS) for free to sports federations, leagues and state authorities worldwide in an effort to protect the integrity of global sport.

Sportradar said that in the last 18 months, it has used UFDS to find suspicious activity in 12 different sports played across more than 70 countries.

Data from UFDS shows soccer is the sport most at risk for betting-related fraud. The system found more than 500 soccer matches had suspicious activity to date in 2021. Of those 500 matches, about 40% of them involved domestic soccer competitions in third-tier leagues and below, including youth leagues. Sportradar said the data show fixers are increasingly focused on lower-level matches.

“As our analysis shows, match-fixing is evolving, and those behind it are diversifying their approach, both in the sports and competitions they target, and the way they make approaches to athletes, such as the rise in digital approaches,” said SIS Managing Director Andreas Krannich.

“To help address this, Sportradar has made a significant investment to make it possible to offer the UFDS for free to global sports organizations and leagues. The reason for this is that we are committed to supporting the sustainability of global sports and using data and technology for good.”

Sportradar added that fixers have also targeted eSports, in part due to their growing popularity. The company said UFDS has detected more than 70 suspicious eSports matches since April 2020 across five different game titles, including more than 40 matches that took place since January 2021.

Besides soccer and eSports, Sportradar said UFDS detected suspicious activity in the following sports so far in 2021:

  • Tennis: 37 matches;
  • Basketball: 19 matches;
  • Table tennis: 11 matches;
  • Ice hockey: 9 matches; and
  • Cricket: 6 matches.

Sportradar said UFDS had also detected fraud in beach volleyball, handball and volleyball games.

Broken down by geographic region, Sportradar said UFDS found fraudulent activity in 382 matches in Europe so far this year, followed by Latin America with 115. The Asia-Pacific region had 74 such matches, while Africa had 43. Another 10 suspicious sports matches took place in the Middle East and nine were in North America.

Key components of UFDS include odds/line monitoring of more than 600 global bookmakers. The system also includes account-level monitoring of bet staking data from more than 130 global bookmakers and has pre-match and live monitoring component that deploys modeling and machine learning (ML) algorithms.

Services offered through SIS include anti-doping services to support efforts by sports governing bodies and anti-doping organizations to identify and investigate violations of anti-doping rules in global sport.

SIS also provides background checks and detailed reporting on organizations and individuals in global sport. Such due diligence efforts help sports leagues, teams and law enforcement. The efforts also help protect bookmakers and casinos when making high-stakes decisions “by finding weak spots, potential issues and threats to their sport and business,” according to SIS’s website.

SIS’s partners include Major League Baseball (MLB), the National Basketball Association (NBA), the National Hockey League (NHL) and NASCAR.

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