Spread betting operator Sporting Index has joined ESSA, the regulated betting industry’s integrity body, with data from its business set to widen the scope of ESSA alerts and reporting systems.

The agreement sees ESSA's membership climb to 19 and allows for monitoring of sports spread betting alongside its existing coverage of traditional fixed odds and pool betting markets.

Sporting Index is a leading spread betting operator, licensed and regulated in the UK by the Financial Conduct Authority and UK Gambling Commission.

“I am delighted that Sporting Index has decided to join ESSA and which brings a major sports spread betting operator within the association,” ESSA secretary general Khalid Ali commented.

“The inclusion of sports spread betting data will add a new facet to our integrity operation, widening the scope of the ESSA alert and reporting systems, which will have important benefits for our members and all of our partners in sport,” he explained.

“Sport is at the core of our business and maintaining its integrity is paramount,” Sporting Index chief executive Simon Trim added. “Sporting Index wants to play its part in tackling match-fixing and joining ESSA is central to achieving that goal.”

In related news, ESSA has released its integrity report for the first quarter of the year, revealing a total of 11 suspicious betting patterns which were reported to the relevant sporting and regulatory authorities.

The majority – nine – concerned tennis, with one alert generated for basketball and one for football. Five alerts originated in Asia, with three in Europe, two in Africa and one in South America.