Sportradar Detects More than 1,100 Fixed Sports Matches since the Start of Pandemic

Using its Sportradar Integrity Service, Sportradar has been able to detect over a thousand fixed matches over the last 18 months, and continues to work diligently on detection and prevention.
November 01, 2021

Sports fixing has been present as long as sports themselves, but proper detection tools that would help with prevention have only been around for a relatively short time.

One such tool, the Sportradar Integrity Service (SIS) has been actively looking for fixed sports matches recently, and has found more than 1,100 events that were under suspicion of having been fixed, according to the algorithm, since April 2020.

During the nine months of 2021 alone, the algorithm has detected 655 games under suspicion for being fixed across a variety of sports and countries.

Sportradar has promised to provide the services of its Universal Fraud Detection System (UFDS) to all those who might need it, including sports federations, leagues, and local authorities, to help with prevention of match fixing and maintain the integrity of sports on a global level.

The UFDS has analyzed data from thousands of sports matches across the world sport and has found that soccer is by far the most fixed sport, with lower ranks of local competitions especially at-risk. More than 500 soccer matches were found to have been fixed in 2021 alone, with the vast majority of those in third rank or lower of domestic soccer competitions.

“As our analysis shows, match-fixing is evolving, and those behind it are diversifying their approach, both in the sports and competitions they target, and the way they make approaches to athletes, such as the rise in digital approaches,” said SIS Managing Director Andreas Krannich.

“To help address this, Sportradar has made a significant investment to make it possible to offer the UFDS for free to global sports organizations and leagues. The reason for this is that we are committed to supporting the sustainability of global sports and using data and technology for good.”

Among other sports, Sportradar found tennis, basketball, table tennis, ice hockey, cricket, and e-sports to also be targeted by the match fixers.

E-sports in particular are a great target for match fixing, as all it takes is one player to fix the match, with many players playing on a semi-professional basis and for far less money than most professional athletes.

Perhaps surprisingly, Europe has been found as the region most impacted by match fixing, with 382 such matches this year, followed by Latin America, Asia, and Africa. The lowest numbers of detected fixed matches were found in the Middle East and North America, with ten and nine cases found respectively.

The UFDS monitors activity of hundreds of sportsbooks across the globe and the ways in which betting lines move and bets are placed, with the machine learning algorithms detecting irregularities that are commonly associated with match fixing.

Sportradar’s SIS includes a number of tools that can help sports organizations and bookmakers alike avoid match fixing incidents, including background checks and reporting on various individuals, teams, and organizations across world sports.

With these tools, bookmakers can make more informed decisions and avoid taking high-risk plays when individuals or organizations involved may be under suspicion of being involved with irregular dealings.

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