Sports data provider Sportradar has released an in-depth paper on the issue of match-fixing, suggesting solutions and championing the idea of federations working with monitoring systems and law enforcement to combat the threat.
The company’s security services division has been compiling the paper for the past eight months, with the intention of it becoming the most “informative and explanatory” discussion on match-fixing.
The paper states that match-fixing is one of the most severe problems sport is facing in the 21st century, with the internet making it much easier for manipulators to achieve their “criminal goals.”
“The number of bookmakers has increased, as has the range of different sports available for betting and odds types,” says the paper. “Bookmakers and their agents around the world accept huge stakes – even on the phone from fixers at the very playing field on which the sport is taking place.
“If sports federations want to keep up with this pace they have to react in a comprehensive way. No matter what the motivation for match-fixers might be, manipulation in sport is a criminal act that has to be tackled.”
The document focuses largely on the workings of the Kelong Kings from Singapore, a global match-fixing syndicate with Dan Tan and Wilson Raj Perumal understood to be two of the major organisers, which were exposed to have taken match-fixing to extremes by rigging football matches across the world.
The paper showcases all of the major scandals that have hit football and other sports in the past few years, in which the company’s own Fraud Detection System (FDS) has not only detected but been actively involved in.
The paper details the underlying reasons for the manipulation of sports and the attached risk, and outlines the complex world betting structure which is relevant to match-fixing. It also details some of the ways in which matches are fixed through its work with FDS, detecting fraudulent betting patterns and reporting on suspicious matches.
Sportradar says that it does not profess to have the solution which will instantly eradicate match-fixing, but claims that the recent Southern Stars case in Australia “has proven that a monitoring system is essential in the detection of match-fixing.”
The company developed FDS together with European football governing body UEFA, with the extensive detection and analysis system used for the first time in 2009. It was developed to track odds and odds movements at hundreds of different bookmakers around the world and to detect suspicious betting patterns immediately.
On behalf of UEFA, Sportradar is monitoring every member state with regard to manipulation. Over 31,000 competitive matches from the 53 states (first and second leagues, cup matches), as well as all international competitions of UEFA, are systematically monitored each year. The FDS also monitors thousands of competitive matches in leagues across the world including Australia, AFC, USA and CONCACAF.
“The victims of manipulation are always the same: the sports federations that lose credibility, the fans which are deceived of a fair competition, the betting companies which have to pay out the money that is won by fraud and the betrayed bettors who lose money because they placed bets expecting an honest contest played according to the rules,” says Sportradar in conclusion.
“Therefore, the problem of match-fixing can only be tackled successfully with the coordinated cooperation of sports federations, law enforcement and the betting industry. The FDS is the industry standard for monitoring and tracking this fraudulent behaviour.”
Sportradar's report 'World Match-Fixing: The problem and the solution' can be downloaded in full here.