Brussels, 23 June 2016: The regulated betting industry’s integrity body ESSA and sports data and monitoring company Sportradar have joined forces to step up their efforts in tackling match-fixing in tennis. It sees two of the foremost organisations in their field come together, pooling their resources and expertise, and highlighting their ongoing commitment to rooting out corruption.
The unique partnership will see the combined information from Sportradar’s award-winning Fraud Detection Service covering over 450 operators and ESSA members’ wealth of customer transactional data to provide a comprehensive market overview and alert system. The approach will initially focus solely on tennis, which has attracted a great deal of attention in recent months regarding the integrity of its events, following which both parties will consider expanding the scope of the cooperation.
Mike O’Kane, Chairman of ESSA, welcomed the partnership stating that: “The arrangement has clear benefits for both parties and represents a growing desire to complement each other’s efforts around match-fixing. By utilising the core strengths of both systems we have the potential to create an unparalleled level of data from which to detect betting related corruption. That can then be used to stamp out attacks on betting operators and protect sporting events; put simply, everyone wins.”
Andreas Krannich, MD Security Services at Sportradar stated: “Collaboration and information-sharing between credible organisations sits at the heart of the Council of Europe’s Convention on the Manipulation of Sports Competitions and we are delighted that with ESSA, we are able to bring this intention to life. When you couple the peerless breadth of Sportradar’s FDS coverage with the unrivalled depth of ESSA’s coverage, you provide sport and those interested in sport with a truly compelling proposition. We are confident that this partnership will bear important fruit and bring a new level of insight into those looking to corrupt the integrity of sport.”
ESSA recently released its Q1 2016 integrity statistics (see here), and is driving a number of activities aimed at addressing betting related match-fixing in sport. These include a player education programme with EU Athletes (see here) and an international project, entitled “Keep Crime out of Sport”, led by the Council of Europe and funded by the European Commission (see here).
Sportradar’s reports underpinned a recent Romanian football match-fixing case against Gloria Buzau FC, in which 17 individuals including 3 members of the coaching staff received a range of bans and fines. Sportradar has also delivered player and participant education programmes in recent months, in sports such as esports (at the Intel Extreme Masters in Poland) and handball (at the SEHA Gazprom League Finals in Croatia) among others.
ESSA represents many of the world’s biggest regulated sports betting operators, serving over 40 million consumers in the EU alone. Concerned regulated bookmakers created ESSA in 2005 to monitor betting markets and alert sporting bodies and national regulators to suspicious betting patterns. The goal was and is to protect consumers from potential fraud caused by manipulating sporting events. ESSA helps to combat this with evidence-based intelligence it provides to sporting bodies and regulators.
Every year, our members invest over €50m in compliance and internal security systems in order to help combat fraud. They also give back to sport and society by spending €400m on sponsorship around the world – €250m of that in Europe alone. This increases substantially when advertising and photo and video-streaming rights are taken into consideration. ESSA and its members also co-fund an education programme on gambling with EU Athletes that reaches out to 15,000 athletes/players across at least ten different sports in 13 EU countries.
ESSA continues to play a key role as the regulated betting sector’s representative body at national and international match-fixing policy forums and holds positions on working groups at the European Commission, Council of Europe and the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The organisation is continually reassessing and improving its alert and reporting systems and has established information sharing arrangements with a range of sports bodies and regulatory authorities.
ESSA members include: the ABB, Betclic, Bet-at-Home, Betsson, Bet365, BetVictor, Betway, bwinparty, Digibet, Expekt, the Hong Kong Jockey Club, Interwetten, Ladbrokes, Paddy Power, Sky Bet, Sporting Index, Stanleybet, Unibet and William Hill.
Sportradar is a global leader in understanding and leveraging the power of sports data and digital content for its clients around the world.
The company’s Security Services operation provides the Fraud Detection System (FDS) to several federations, including the AFC, World Rugby and UEFA. This unique system allows the Security Services team to monitor betting behaviour and patterns at over 450 operators worldwide (including licensed and unlicensed operators in Europe, Asia, the Americas and the rest of the world) and to identify suspicious activities. Those findings prove invaluable for sports federations and law enforcement agencies that are looking to pinpoint match-fixers, and Security Services Reports have been referenced by over 100 successful sporting sanctions.
The Security Services also include the Fraud Prevention Service (FPS) through which Sportradar offers education tools and services that have been delivered to leagues and clubs around the world. These have been show to increase awareness of illegal betting and match-fixing among those involved in sport.
More than 600 businesses in over 80 countries rely on Sportradar’s data depth and quality services in their daily business.
Headquartered in Switzerland, Sportradar has offices in 30 other cities and employs over 1,500 highly experienced staff worldwide.