The International Betting Integrity Association has published its report for Q1 2020 and a total of 61 incidents were flagged related to suspicious betting. This is a 36% increase compared to the end of the last year (Q4 2019) when there were 45 cases, as well as a 65% increase for the same quarter of 2019; Q1 2019 had 37 reports.
According to the IBIA, suspicious betting became more frequent around mid-March, a week before the official cancellation of sports events due to COVID-19. “IBIA saw an increase in suspicious betting activity in the week leading to the global sports shutdown highlighting the opportunism of corrupters,” said IBIA CEO Khalid Ali.
Q1 2020 saw most of the reports coming from Europe with 44%, followed by 30% in Asia. Other regions saw 11% in Africa, 10% in South America and 5% in North America. Tennis matches received most of the alerts (31) and held 80% of all reports, while football was second with 18 alerts. Fifteen cases were reported a week before the cancellation of sporting events and since then the IBIA has received seven new cases even after the lockdown.
The country with the most reports was Russia, followed by Tunisia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Tajikistan and Turkey.
The IBIA predicts the pandemic will slow the global betting market in 2020 but, overall, horseracing and sports betting should see a slight growth compared to last year, with an increase of 0.57% ($73.79 billion).
Land-based betting will be more affected by the virus and it’s predicted the market will have a 4.67% decline. Meanwhile, online betting should grow by 6.88%, less than the 2019 growth of 10.41%.