Corruption in betting is a major problem. Not just for bookmakers, but for honest punters across the globe.
But the good news for punters and betting sites alike is that they have the tools and talent to fight back against the scammers, spot suspicious betting patterns as they happen and bring to justice those who commit crimes within the betting industry.
At the forefront of the battle against match-fixing and corruption in the betting industry is The International Betting Integrity Association (IBIA).
Who are the IBIA?
The IBIA has partnered with many organizations in the sports, sports betting and esports betting industries, including consumer, sports and esports data providers.
Through monitoring markets, investigating suspicious betting patterns to prosecuting and sanctioning those involved, the IBIA is at the forefront of maintaining integrity across the gambling industry.
By building alliances with key stakeholders in the gambling community and beyond, as well as working at local, national and international levels, the IBIA combats corruption on a global scale.
Their aim is to ensure integrity for operators and users across the gambling industry and to prosecute those who threaten it.
Why Integrity in Sports Betting Matters
Integrity is the cornerstone of sports and esports betting. A betting site expects its customers to act openly and honestly with them, in much the same way a customer expects a site to operate fair and equitably with them. The moment that this trust is broken, is when the foundations of the global gambling industry begin to erode.
Match-fixing and other forms of betting corruption are the biggest threats to the bond of trust between the site and the customer. Not only are they criminal activities, but they risk undermining the entire betting industry.
No honest site or punter wants anything to do with corrupt groups or individuals. This is why the IBIA acts ferociously to ensure honesty and integrity remain central to the gambling industry.
IBIA’s Activities and Initiatives
The hub of the IBIA’s anti-corruption initiative is its Monitoring & Alert Platform. This platform monitors markets from its partner sites and will highlight any suspicious betting activities in real time.
What makes the platform so intuitive is the high-quality partnerships the IBIA has nurtured with major organisations such as FIFA, the IOC, UEFA, ITIA and more. This also includes partnerships with betting sites such as Bet365, Betway, DraftKings, Pinnacle and esports betting sites like Rivalry.
In addition to the Monitoring & Alert Platform, the IBIA also has a number of other resources available on its site, including:
- Data Standards: Information on quality required for the collection of sports event data for betting purposes.
- IBIA Academy: A range of articles and other videos, podcasts, infographics and more that explore corruption and match-fixing in the sports betting industry and how it is being combatted effectively.
- Ad-Hoc Studies: A world map of gambling regulatory strength with individual country profiles showing you where regulations are strongest and weakest.
- Quarterly Integrity Report: A three-monthly report which showcases where suspicious betting activities have occurred, both in terms of sports affected, geographic location and focus reports on different countries and regions.
The IBIA in Action
In June 2023, the IBIA played a key role in the sanctioning of ten snooker players for match-fixing. The WPBSA sanctioned the ten players, all of whom were Chinese, after receiving data from the IBIA that showed suspicious betting patterns and evidence of match-fixing across a number of matches played in 2022.
In 2022, the IBA reported 268 alerts to authorities which resulted in criminal sanctions against 15 teams, officials or players.
What’s the Outlook?
Given the proliferation of esports tournaments, further expansion into the esports betting industry looks like a key future move for the IBIA, as well as expanding to cover companies in more markets around the world.
Other future considerations include expanding partnerships globally, utilizing new technology and continuing to improve the quality and accuracy of data reported.
From match-fixing, manipulation of sports and esports odds, corruption and bribery, the IBIA is leading the fight to keep sports betting clean on a global scale.