The International Betting Integrity Association (IBIA) has received 236 suspicious betting alerts in 2021, with football reporting a record 66 alerts for the sport.
The overall number represents a 13% decrease on 2020’s figure, when 270 suspicious cases were flagged. The alerts spanned 13 sports across 49 countries.
69 alerts were recorded in the fourth quarter of 2021, following on from the 65 recorded in the third quarter.
Tennis produced the most alerts of any sport with 80, down from the 98 recorded in 2020. The 66 football alerts represented am 8% increase on the figure reported for 2020.
Table tennis added a further 40 alerts, with esports contributing 30, basketball seven and volleyball six. Ice hockey, beach volleyball, squash, horseracing, futsal, cricket and handball all added a single alert each.
IBIA alerts are flagged via member operators, who raise suspicious activity to the association involved and all other members. Should IBIA determine, following a review, that the event warrants more investigation, it then raises a suspicious activity report to the sport’s governing body as well as any relevant regulators.
Europe accounted for exactly half of all alerts, with 118 coming from the continent. 27 of which came from Russia – the highest number recorded for a single country.
43 alerts came from Asia, 18 from Africa, 17 from South America, and 10 from North America – a 54% decrease for the continent compared to 2020.
11 successful sporting or criminal sanctions came as a result of IBIA alerts in 2021.
IBIA CEO Khalid Ali expressed relief that alerts appear to be experiencing a downward trend and a return to pre novel coronavirus numbers.
Ali said: “Another challenging year for the sector has passed with the spectre of Covid and its impact on sporting events declining, and hopefully a potential endgame in sight.
“Challenges however persist, notably with the growth of private sports events and establishing integrity protocols to the levels seen in traditional sports bodies. The association is working with a number of stakeholders in this area to improve integrity provisions.”