With only a week before the 2016 Rio Olympics kicks off, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has tapped a gambling watchdog that will monitor any forms cheating in the games.
In a statement, London-based sports data technology Genius Sports announced that the IOC has tapped the firm to monitor the possible manipulation of its competitions related to sports betting in the 2016 Rio Olympics, which will start on August 5.
Through the so-called Sport Integrity Monitor (SportIM) service, Genius Sports and IOC will be able to work with governing bodies and betting operators to prevent and manage the integrity concerns associated with match-fixing and betting-related corruption.
Genius Sports’ SportIM will use data from regulated and unregulated betting markets, looking for anything unusual, which might suggest match-fixing. It will report trends in real time to sport governing bodies, leaving them to decide whether anything is amiss.
Before entering into a partnership with Genius Sports, Pâquerette Girard Zappelli, Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer of the IOC, said the organization has launched an Integrity Betting Intelligence System (IBIS) in 2013 and was first used in 2014 for the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. IBIS did not found any betting irregularity at the time.
Zappelli said the deal with SportsIM will give the IOC an even greater insight into sports betting markets despite its experience working with a sportsbooks and regulators.
“[E]ver since, we have further optimized the mechanism. We have identified responsible organizations that can assist our global effort to prevent corruption,” Zappelli said.
Bloomberg reported that the 2016 Rio Olympics will draw about $1 billion in legal and illegal bets globally. The figures was based on the estimates of former Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) head of security Christ Eaton.
Eaton told the news agency that betting on the Olympics will be 50 times less than what’s wagered on the World Cup, eight times less than what’s bet on the final alone.