One of the most-used arguments in trying to prevent sports gambling from being legalized in the US is the impact it could have on sports integrity. That argument, however, continues to fall flat, especially when countered by the response that sports gambling has been legal elsewhere in the world for decades and this hasn’t resulted in a complete decimation of the sports industry. No one can deny that match-fixing has taken place, but there are good and bad players in every single activity, from religion to finance to law enforcement. Still, things are being done to help ensure integrity remains at the forefront in sports, and sports gambling data firm Sportradar has continued to be at the forefront of the topic. It is constantly entering new partnerships to supply data to leagues everywhere, including all four major sports organizations in the US, and has just announced another one. Its Sportradar Integrity Services (SIS) non-profit arm is now working with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to ensure integrity in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Sportradar already had a foot in the door in India through similar agreements with the Indian Super League and the Pro Kabaddi League. The latest partnership will introduce measures by both Sportradar and the BCCI to support the latter’s anti-corruption division in order to monitor the IPL and identify any questionable activity that might be the result of attempted match-fixing. This is similar to the firm’s efforts everywhere it has started to support, and should prove beneficial to keeping athletic competitions clean and transparent.
Andreas Krannich, the managing director of SIS, states, “It is an honour to partner with the BCCI for the 2020 IPL season. As the global leader in sporting integrity, we hope to provide our expertise and help protect the tournament against integrity related issues. We know that the BCCI takes integrity seriously, and we look forward to working alongside them throughout the tournament and providing our support to their integrity programme.”
The BCCI will also receive regular updates on risk assessments produced by SIS. These will be developed using intelligence gathered during cricket matches, as well as specific data points drawn from moves, match outcomes and other aspects of the games. If needed, the BCCI can also hit the panic button and bring in Sportradar’s Intelligence and Investigation Services to investigate any questionable results that might pop up.
The potential for match-fixing is always going to exist, as does the potential to fall victim to an investment scam or a carjacker. Just like there are organizations and entities dedicated to monitoring and policing those fields, sports gambling will have one, as well. Two IPL teams were suspended a few years ago for alleged match-fixing and illegal betting, so there are already ways to uncover fraudulent practices. However, as technology improves and more data is available, companies like Sportradar have the ability to take oversight to a whole new level.