The total number of reports remains level year-on-year, with ESSA having looked at 266 suspicious betting cases in 2017.
Table tennis attracted eight reports in 2018, ahead of esports and basketball, both on seven, while four alerts were generated for beach volleyball and three for indoor volleyball. Ice hockey and badminton followed on two cases each, with horse racing, handball, boxing and bowls only responsible for one report apiece.
Europe remains the region of most concern to the integrity body, accounting for 148, or 55%, of the total reports filed over the past year. Spain was responsible for 18 of these cases, closely followed by Italy on 17 cases and then the Czech Republic and Ukraine with 10 each.
Asia ranks second in terms of suspicious betting reports with 48 cases, 13 of which were located in Turkey, while Africa had a total of 26 cases, almost half coming out of Egypt (12). South America accounted for 23 reports while just 13 cases were located in North America.
“One of the biggest concerns of the betting market opening up in the US is integrity; as a result, we assisted the establishment of the Sports Wagering Integrity Monitoring Association, our American equivalent, with whom we will work closely to combat sports betting related corruption on a global basis,” he said.
Ali also addressed ongoing concerns over integrity in tennis, with the sport having accounted for the majority of suspicious betting cases in ESSA reports for some time now. On average, more than 65% of ESSA alerts have been on tennis.
An independent review panel last year published a report following a three-year study of the sport, in which it set out 12 integrity recommendations. Ali said the recommendation to restrict the sale of data used by operators for in-play markets as being particularly relevant to addressing the sport's integrity concerns.
Meanwhile, ESSA has revealed that Jon Russell, global head of trading at Betway, is to become its new chair. He will replace Heike Mayer, who has served in the role for the past two years.
Speaking about his new role, Russell said: “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.”
Source: GMB / iGaming Business