International betting integrity body ESSA has revealed that it reported 267 cases of suspicious betting to the relevant authorities during 2018.

The final quarter of 2018 recorded 83 cases of suspicious betting activity, bringing the annual total to 267 cases. This comprised 178 cases involving tennis and 52 from football, together representing 86 per cent of all alerts during the year, up from 77 per cent in 2017.

Alerts covering others sports fell from a high of 61 cases in 2017 to 37 cases in 2018, while the number of different sports with alerts increased to 13 during the year, including eSports, horseracing, beach volleyball, and ice hockey.

Europe remained the primary location of sporting events on which alerts were generated, totalling 148 (55 per cent) in 2018, followed by Asia with 48 alerts (18 per cent).

“ESSA’s alerts remain an important barometer for gauging betting related corruption globally,” said ESSA secretary general Khalid Ali. “Outside of tennis and football, we are beginning to see new threats emerging such as the increased number of alerts on eSports.

“Given the multi-jurisdictional nature of match-fixing, regulators around the world are now beginning to make it a requirement for operators to be part of an international monitoring system, which we fully support.”

ESSA also confirmed that Betway global head of trading Jon Russell will take over as the association’s new chair to replace GVC Holdings' head of public and regulatory affairs Heike Mayer.

“I would like to thank the previous chair, Heike Mayer, for her valuable contribution to ESSA and its members over the last couple of years,” said Russell. “The association took on a new focus and direction during Heike’s tenure and I will be seeking to work with my board colleagues and the wider membership to build upon on the success of that approach and the positive impact that it has had.

“The year ahead is expected to pose new challenges and opportunities for the sector and ESSA is setting out a clear plan of action to ensure that its members are best placed to meet those. Indeed, being part of a collective global monitoring network has never been of greater importance from both a business and integrity perspective, and I call upon all responsible operators to join us in ESSA.”