Sportradar Integrity Services has reported that it has detected over 1,100 suspicious sports contests since the pandemic started in April 2020. Over half of those alerts have been registered since January 2021, as most sports have gone back to normal at the beginning of the year. Some 665 alerts have been flagged over the first nine months of the year, Sportradar explained.
To track these signals, Sportradar has used its proprietary solutions and vast network of collaborators. The company is now also changing the license of the Universal Fraud Detection System (UFDS) to a free product starting today as the data and tech giant has made it its mission to uproot fraud in athletic competitions.
Sportradar has leveraged the UFDS across 12 sports and 70 countries around the world. In the 18 months tracked, the company has been pushing its solution to relevant parties from the world of sports, including governmental regulators and sports bodies interested in tackling corruption in their midst.
Soccer and Europe Main Culprits for Sports Fraud
The bulk of fraudulent activity pivots around soccer, which has posted 500 of all alerts so far in 2021, out of a total tally of 665 signals across all monitored sports. Sportradar has been able to pinpoint lower-division leagues as the ones that are usually associated with fraud as per data collated by the company over the last years.
Commenting on these developments, Sportradar managing director for integrity services, Andreas Krannich, explains that match-fixing is evolving and the criminals behind it are diversifying their approach, adding:
“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.”Sportradar managing director for integrity services Andreas Krannich
Sports is no longer the only focus of fraud, Sportradar cautions, as UFDS has detected 70 suspicious video game alerts as well. Out of these, 40 were in 2021. More suspicious activity came from basketball, table, and ice hockey matches, as well as six cricket matches. Europe seems to be a focal point of this fraudulent activity as the continent has generated 382 of the suspicious alerts collected by Sportradar.