Tennis again dominates suspicious alerts as duo’s life bans are lifted

Tennis again dominates suspicious alerts as duo’s life bans are lifted

Monday, October 12, 2015 Totally Gaming
Potito Starace has been cleared after previously being given a life ban

Tennis produced 72 per cent of suspicious betting alerts in ESSA’s new quarterly update, just as Italian professional players Daniele Bracciali and Potito Starace had their match-fixing life bans lifted.

Tennis continued what sports integrity unit ESSA, whose members include William Hill, Bet365 and Unibet, described as a “worrying trend” of generating the vast majority – some 75 per cent - of suspicious alerts during 2015.

Tennis accounted for 48 of the 73 total alerts in the three months to September 30, and 13 of the 18 that were subsequently described as “suspicious”.  Football triggered 16 total alerts, with four then adjudged suspicious, while greyhound racing produced two alerts, with one then ruled suspicious.

An ESSA spokesperson said: “A betting pattern is deemed unusual or suspicious when it involves unexpected activity with atypical bet sizes or volumes that continue even after significant price corrections have been made in order to deter such activity in the market.

“A betting pattern is only confirmed as suspicious after ESSA has made detailed enquiries with all of its members to eliminate any prospect that the unusual patterns could be for legitimate reasons, such as pricing the market incorrectly.”

The suspicious alert relating to greyhound racing was the first since a BBC Panorama investigation into race-fixing within the sport in November 2014. Trainer Chris Mosdall, implicated in the television show, was warned off indefinitely by the Greyhound Board of Great Britain (GBGB) in June 2015. GBGB would not give a comment to TotallyGaming.com today (Monday).

Tennis has so far been the subject of 49 of the 65 suspicious cases reported by ESSA in 2015. Snooker, table tennis, bowls, beach volleyball and badminton each triggered alerts during Q3, but each were then deemed to be “unusual, but not suspicious”.

Meanwhile, the Italian Tennis Federation (FIT), which handed out the life bans to Bracciali and Starace in August, has now seen its appeal court clear the latter completely and reduce the former's ban to 12 months.

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