Sports betting integrity body ESSA has entered into an information sharing agreement designed to preserve the integrity of matches organised by the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF).

The agreement is described as demonstrating the increasing international focus of both ESSA and its members, which include operators such as bet365, Paddy Power and William Hill.

ESSA secretary general Khalid Ali said the partnership sends a “clear and forceful message to match-fixers”, as well as showing its members’ commitment to collaborate with sporting federations to address the issue of corruption in sport.

“This agreement formalises our respective organisations’ joint resolve to form a robust and proactive partnership to protect sporting events and regulated betting markets from criminal elements that seek to profit from manipulating sport,” Ali added.

“CONCACAF follows a multi-step approach in the fight against match-fixing in order to be able to prevent, detect, investigate, and respond to potential cases with zero tolerance,” CONCACAF director of sports integrity Dr Laila Mintas said.

“Cooperation and coordination with all other stakeholders is integral to CONCACAF’s strategy,” she continued. “The sports betting industry is an important partner in that fight. Building an efficient partnership with the betting industry’s integrity body is therefore very essential.”

Earlier this year, ESSA released its annual integrity report which showed that a total of 30 sporting events were reported to sporting and regulatory authorities in 2013 due to unusual betting patterns.

The year saw a total of 148 unusual betting alerts issued by ESSA members, 36 per cent up from the previous year.

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