Tennis Tops Suspicious BettingJake Cooper | 11 May 2017
A recent report from betting integrity authority ESSA has revealed some startling news for the betting industry. The body has stated that tennis has elicited the highest number of suspicious betting alerts once again during the three months ended on March 31, 2017, for what is now the ninth consecutive quarter.
ESSA has unveiled some shocking information about the state of the sports betting industry, and has noted that tennis is at the helm of much of the industry’s suspicious and fraudulent betting activity. The authority said that 12 of the cases for this year’s first quarter related to tennis, making up over 45% of the 27 reports filed for the period in review.
In comparison, volleyball and football each attracted a mere 4 reports, while basketball and snooker attracted even less suspicious betting alerts with just 2 each for the months under scrutiny. Ice hockey and handball were among the sports to elicit the least reports, with just 1 account each.
Tennis Betting Industry Has Hopes Of Reform
While tennis has again generated an astounding number of suspicious betting cases in the most recent quarter, there is still hope that this trend can be remedied with stricter regulations and more awareness about the ever-present fixing problem in the sport.
ESSA has voiced hopes that the upcoming publishing of a report commissioned by the International Tennis Federation will probe deeper into the issue of match fixing, and will thus greatly benefit tennis and improve its status with regard to sports betting.
The report is expected to be released for public scrutiny within the next few weeks.
Update On European Commission Collaboration
Mike O’Kane, the Chairman of ESSA, commented on the findings, saying that the figures released for the first quarter of 2017 have followed a trend that is very similar to previous tennis reports. The authority is aware that various parties in tennis circles have been working to address the issue, and notes that it awaits ‘with interest’ the Independent Review Panel’s imminent report.
O’Kane said that ESSA has engaged in the process of generating the report, and has also welcomed it as a crucial step to reform the state of tennis. The integrity body hopes that the Panel offers recommendations based on evidence and also proportionate and practical solutions to the issues at hand.
Furthermore, O’Kane offered an update on ESSA’s related joint venture with the European Commission, noting that research will be the key to addressing match fixing and highlighting the need for regulated betting products that combat illicit practices.
The chairman said that illicit activity results from corrupt parties looking to defraud sports betting operators, who are intended victims of fraud – and any potential solutions should acknowledge this information.