Suspicious Betting Activity Highlighted After WimbledonJake Cooper | 31 Jul 2017
Recent scandals have brought to light that match fixing and suspicious betting activity are probably the most concerning – and prevalent – issues in tennis today. Now, new evidence has corroborated this view, with three games at the 2017 Wimbledon championships being flagged for unusual betting activities, according to tennis authorities.
The Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) revealed in its quarterly report that 53 match alerts in total were raised in tennis from April to June this year. While this figure shows a 27% decrease over the previous year, the authority is still concerned about the number of alerts being raised in the sport.
The aforementioned games that were identified for unusual activity will soon be investigated by the TIU, with the tennis governing body looking in particular for potential match-fixing. Three of these flagged matches occurred at Wimbledon alone, including one event in the main draw, and another two in the qualifying draw.
ESSA Reveals 31 Of 53 Q2 Suspicious Betting Cases Pertain To Tennis
Another game, this time a part of the French Open, was also reported to the TIU, as well as four more matches at both WTA and ATP tour events. The remaining 45 flagged matches occurred at lower levels, including ITF, Futures and Challenger tournaments, posing less of a concern.
During the three month period in review, over 31,000 professional tennis matches were held worldwide. Considering these figures, experts consider the TIU’s actions to have been successful in helping to combat suspicious betting in the sport, especially in its upper echelons.
However, the international betting integrity regulator ESSA revealed in its own quarterly report that 31 out of the 53 cases of suspicious betting reported during the second quarter of this year involved tennis, showing that the issue is still very much prevalent. ESSA also flagged 15 football matches, 5 basketball matches, and volleyball and handball games during this time.
ESSA to Release Report Highlighting Tennis Betting Issues
Khalid Ali, ESSA’s secretary general, commented that betting integrity issues are a continuous feature in stakeholder talks, both at national and international levels.
He noted that ESSA has been asked by the Council of Europe to draw up a report on behalf of the private betting industry, highlighting the issues that regulated operators are dealing with. The report will form part of the CoE’s efforts to nix match-fixing and create international regulatory measures.
Furthermore, the report will also feed into ESSA’s integrity conference, which will be held in London on October 12, Ali said.