Over $180 million generated from fixed matches as identified cases rise amid surge in legal sports betting


One of the largest sports betting integrity monitoring services in the world said it had uncovered more fixed bets than ever in 2021, resulting in over $180 million in match-fixing winnings.

Sportradar, a global data company providing fraud detection for sportsbook and professional sports leagues, brought out a report on its results from calendar year 2021. In that report, the company uncovered “suspicious activity” in 903 games from 10 different sports in 76 different countries last year – that’s more than 500,000 events tracked.

The estimated amount generated by the suspicious betting activities was over $180 million and is likely higher due to illegal sports betting and unregulated markets.

The increase shouldn’t come as a surprise. As several states legalized wagering across the country, more markets and wagers were prosecuted. Overall, Sportradar saw a 2.4% increase in suspicious activity over the course of 2020.

“There is no easy short-term solution to the match-fixing problem and we will likely see a similar number of suspicious matches, if not more, in 2022,” said Andreas Krannich, managing director of Sportradar Integrity Services.

“As the market has evolved, so has the threat of match-fixing. Now potential corrupters are taking a more direct approach to match-fixing and betting corruption by notifying athletes directly through social media platforms.”

Krannich believes educating athletes about match-fixing will play a role in limiting it, as will increased sanctions against those caught.

Sportradar and its partners in sports betting and leagues imposed a total of 65 sanctions in 2021, 15 of which were criminal. Eight athletes were subsequently banned for life.

In January, an Arsenal player was investigated for possible match-fixing.

Most cases occur in soccer, especially lower-level soccer. Half of the cases were from the third stage or below. The other two sports with the most suspicious incidents were esports and basketball.

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