Football produces less suspicious betting activity alerts in Q1

Football produces less suspicious betting activity alerts in Q1

Thursday, May 4, 2017 Posted by Luke Massey
Regulatory body ESSA has released its Q1 figures

Despite the recent furore over Joey Barton’s betting, football has been subject to fewer cases of suspicious activity during the first quarter of 2017.

According to figures released by betting integrity body ESSA, just four of 27 cases flagged by its alert system related to football, the same number as for volleyball. By contrast, eight of the 16 cases reported for football in 2016 had taken place during the final quarter of last year.

Meanwhile, tennis remained atop the list of sports for the ninth consecutive quarter, after accounting for 45% (12) of the 27 cases. The remaining 55% of cases were split between football (4 cases), volleyball (4), snooker (2), basketball (2), while there was one each for boxing, handball and ice hockey.

Mike O’Kane acknowledged that the reports have followed a “similar trend” but insisted that tennis is working hard to address this situation. The ESSA chairman also suggested that activity on a national level can help to suppress the issue. For example, ESSA has engaged with studies funded by the European Commission to accelerate the establishment of anti-match fixing laws.

He commented: “We know that tennis has been working hard to address this situation and we await with interest the imminent publication of the Independent Review Panel’s interim report.

“It is a process that ESSA has engaged in and welcomed as an important step, and we hope that the panel’s recommendations are both evidence-based and provide practical and proportionate actions.”

“In addressing this issue at any level, there must be a clear understanding that well-regulated betting products, in themselves, neither create nor support match-fixing.

“That illicit activity is a result of corrupt sportspeople and criminals seeking to defraud betting operators. Those operators are the intended victims of that fraud and any mitigating actions will be best served acknowledging that.”

Totally Gaming says: ESSA will be pleased to receive just four alerts for football during Q1 2017, after a spike in the number for Q4 2016. However, the regulatory body will be far from complacent in its approach to dealing with match-fixing, particularly in Europe. 15 of the 16 football cases from last year (94%) came from European-based matches.

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