Tuesday December 5, 2023

The Threat of Sports Betting Fraud

  • As sports betting becomes more mainstream, stakes are higher.
  • Fraud detection services protect the integrity of matches.
Photo: Sportradar/Design: Alex Brooks
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With sports betting ballooning in the U.S., the stakes are being raised on an ever-present issue: fraud.

Sportradar, a data provider to MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL, and NASCAR, among others, is set to launch its retooled bet monitoring system this October. Last week, the company said it will offer free-of-charge match-fixing detection to any sports league.

  • Sportradar has classified more than 5,300 matches as suspicious over the past 15 years.
  • It has been the source of more than 400 sporting disciplinary sanctions. 
  • Over 30 criminal convictions related to gambling fraud have drawn on Sportradar’s data.

Esports, one of the fastest-growing areas in online betting, faces ongoing challenges in detecting and rooting out fraud.

“It won’t be possible to fully eliminate illegal betting and match-fixing,” said Stephen Hanna, a director at the Esports Integrity Commission. “It’s about limiting its position in the market to the greatest extent possible.”

Playtech, the world’s largest online gaming software supplier, partnered with TransUnion-owned fraud detection company Iovation. Since November 2019, the U.K. Betting and Gaming Council has used artificial intelligence to spot and lock out scammers.

Earlier this month, JPMorgan released a 33-page report estimating that sports betting revenue will grow to $9.2 billion by 2025 — a sixfold increase from 2020’s $1.5 billion haul.

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