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Less than 1% of monitored global sporting events have indicators of match-fixing, according to a Sportradar report released Wednesday.

Sportradar found about 0.5% of observed sporting events worldwide had suspicious betting activity last calendar year. One of the world’s leading sports betting data and integrity services firms, Sportradar’s second-annual corruption report observed 1,223 suspicious matches from the more than 850,000 it monitored in 2022.

The report covered identified suspicious activity in 12 sports across 92 countries. The sample size gives an indication of the true rate of max fixing across all organized sporting events receiving wagers across the entire world, according to the report.

The study reflected a 34% increase from the 2021 report, per Sportradar, though the company stressed that match-fixing is still occurring at a low percentage worldwide. No single sport monitored had a dubious match ratio larger than 1%.

These findings helped Sportradar increase the number of criminal and sporting sanctions from 72 to 169 between 2021 and 2022. Sportradar said in a release announcing the findings that the 135% year-over-year increase comes as leagues and federations in nations across the globe – including the US – have increased efforts to crack down on match-fixing.

More than 30 states now offer at least one legal or retail betting option. Since the 2021 report, Ohio, Massachusetts and Kansas have all started taking legal bets, creating regulated, monitored wagering options for more than 10m additional Americans.

“We’ve taken an even more pro-active approach to uncovering match-fixing in 2022, from implementing a new AI model to developing more formal working relationships with bookmakers through the launch of our Integrity Exchange, which resulted in more than 300 alerts,” Andreas Krannich, Managing Director, Sportradar Integrity Services, said in a statement.

Match-fixing study background

Sportradar’s artificial intelligence worked with the Universal Fraud Detection System to help detect 438 of these sporting events. The tech evaluates odds, handle and statistical data related to games, according to Sportradar.

The monitoring begins when sportsbooks first start offering lines through an event’s conclusion, offering analysis of pre-game and in-game wagers. The tech annually evaluates 30bn odd changes across 600 betting operators in dozens of countries worldwide.

Artificial intelligence further evaluates betting data at an individual account level, which helps better identify suspicious activity, per Sportradar. The system uses predictive monitoring, built off of years of previous betting data and billions of bets, to see if a sporting event has potentially suspicious activity. Analysts then consider the data to make a decision on the validity of the wagering activity.

In the US, Sportradar is partnered with most major American professional sports leagues, including the NBA, NHL, MLB and NASCAR. The company also partners with major European sports organizations such as UEFA, FIFA and the Bundesliga.

Sportradar covers close to a million sporting events annually across these aforementioned leagues and roughly 150 others.

Additional study findings

Soccer continued to have the highest number of suspicious matches with 775. Basketball, with 220 suspicious matches, saw one of the most dramatic year-over-year increases, rising nearly 250% from 2021 to 2022.

Europe continues to see the highest number of suspicious sporting events across all sports, per Sportradar, with 630. Asia was second with 240, followed by Asia (240) and South America (225). The number of potentially dubious matches increased year-over-year in all the aforementioned regions. North America and Oceania did not see an increase.

Lower-level competitions continue to see comparatively high rates of potentially suspicious incidents. In 2022, 52% of such matches involving soccer were from a sport or organization’s third tier or lower. That included regional leagues and youth competitions.

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