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IBIA reports 64.7% increase in Q1 suspicious betting alerts

| By Kyle Goldsmith
The International Betting Integrity Association (IBIA) received 56 alerts of suspicious betting during Q1, up 64.7% on the final quarter of 2023.

Additionally, the IBIA’s Q1 figure was 12.0% above the revised total of 50 alerts from the same quarter last year. The alerts came from six sports across 21 countries and five continents.

The IBIA looks at suspicious betting activity to establish potential sports corruption. The IBIA’s members include over 50 companies and more than 125 betting brands. This makes it the largest integrity monitor of its type across the globe.

IBIA chief executive Khalid Ali believes the rising number of alerts is another indicator of ongoing match-fixing problems.

“The first quarter saw an increase in reported alerts highlighting the ongoing challenge our members, sports and regulatory authorities face from corrupt activity,” Ali said. “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.”

Football and Asia IBIA alerts on the rise

In its Q1 report, IBIA noted concerning increases in alerts from football and tennis. The two sports combined for 38 notifications, 67.9% of the Q1 total.

Football had the most alerts with 24, up 50% from the 16 reported the quarter prior. That number was also a 60% increase on the 15 from the same quarter last year.

While Europe had the most alerts in 2023, Asia triggered the most notifications in Q1 2024 with 23. That is 41.1% of the total for the quarter. Europe, meanwhile, only had four alerts, down 76.5% from the 17 notifications in the continent during Q1 2023.

North and South America were tied for second in terms of notifications, both producing 10 alerts during Q1. The two continents made up 17.9% each of the total.

Turkey led the way in terms of countries with eight alerts, five of which came from football, while tennis and basketball triggered two and one notifications respectively. The IBIA only received one alert from Turkey in the entirety of 2023.

Hike in alerts follows 2023 decrease

The rise in alerts during Q1 comes after the IBIA saw a 35% year-on-year decrease in potential match-fixing alerts in 2023.

The IBIA received 184 alerts over last year, a palpable decrease of 2022’s revised number of 285. As was the case in the Q1 2024, football and tennis were the sports most affected. They triggered 63 and 54 alerts respectively.

The IBIA’s 2023 work proved 74 matches to be fixed, while 21 sanctions were inflicted.

Ontario a potential shining channelisation light

As part of its Q1 report, the IBIA also focused on Ontario’s potential as a strong regulated market following its report from earlier in the year, entitled ‘The IBIA study, The Availability of Sports Betting Products: An Economic and Integrity Analysis’.

Ontario introduced an online sports betting licensing system in April 2022 and the IBIA estimates that the region could reach channelisation rates of 92% in 2024, before reaching an onshore rate of 97% by 2028.

The IBIA forecasts that Ontario’s onshore gross win will top $506m (£404.8m/€472.0m), with offshore gross win at just $42m. As a result, only $33m will be lost in tax between 2024 and 2028.

Meanwhile, Canada excluding Ontario is estimated to have an onshore channelisation rate of just 11% with offshore gross win of $355m and an onshore gross win of $45m. Consequently, the period of 2024 to 2028 could see Canada excluding Ontario miss out on as much as $395m in tax should the current monopoly regulatory system remain.

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