The organization responsible for keeping an eye on sports betting corruption has released its report into the amount of dodgy things goings on in the European market. GamblingCompliance reports that the European Sports Security Association (ESSA) saw four occasions where “suspicious” online sports betting activity were present in 2010 compared with one the previous year. It should be noted that the figure is a low one and may well have been inflated by the presence of the World Cup last summer.
The other category of activity, “irregular,” also saw an increase from 45 in 2009 to 58 in 2010 but again most of these involved either football or tennis. ESSA Secretary General Khalid Ali told GamblingCompliance, “There has been a lot of comment about the dangers of match-fixing and how it threatens to be as cancerous a problem a doping, but we are just not seeing that. Criminals are avoiding licensed operators.”
“Irregular” is defined by ESSA as a market experiencing unexpected betting patterns. It only becomes “suspicious” after ESSA eliminates the chance that it could be for legitimate reasons. On production of their figures for 2010, ESSA pointed out that match fixing linked to gambling is far-from the only “sports integrity issue.”
Ali added, “Match-fixing linked to gambling is only one form of corruption on the field of play. Another aspect is match-fixing that takes place for sporting reasons, such as promotion or relegation, for example. Our monitoring and investigation can pick this sort of activity up, but it is not about betting.”
ESSA’s latest figures go to show that the online gambling market isn’t the gangland that many would want you believe. With FIFA marrying itself up with Interpol to fight match fixing, the future for fixers like Ante Sapina will continue to be bleak.