Global sports betting integrity body ESSA has revealed tennis as the sport that generated the highest number of suspicious betting alerts during the second quarter, continuing a trend from the opening period of the year.
During the second quarter, ESSA members raised a total of 73 alerts, of which 23 were found to be suspicious and reported to the relevant sporting bodies for further investigation.
Tennis was the subject of the majority of these complaints, generating a total of 19 of the 23 deemed to be suspicious by ESSA.
Football was the only other sport to have registered suspicious alerts, with four reported during the quarter.
The Q2 figures continue a trend from the first period of this year, during which tennis generated 17 suspicious alerts and 10 unusual alerts.
Speaking about the results, ESSA chairman Mike O’Kane, highlighted the need to combat match-fixing and related activities across sport, also referring to recent revelations of corruption at football’s global governing body, Fifa.
“A number of high-profile scandals have sadly dominated sport since the publication of our first quarterly integrity report,” O’Kane said.
“These relate to suspected match-fixing, most notably in Italy and Spain, and also wider corruption in sport with the revelations of alleged high-profile corrupt practices at senior levels in world football’s governing body, Fifa.
“The two issues are, in a broad sense, linked and good governance practices in sport are an important barometer of its overall integrity level.
“Whilst we have not seen an upsurge in alerts during Q2, concerns remain regarding certain sports.
“It is my firm belief that corrupters will continue to prey on sports with poor governance and financial management structures, which is unfortunately widespread in the sector, and that this will continue to weaken the fight against fixers.”
The report also featured input from Marc Tarabella, a Member of the European Parliament and co-chair of the European Parliament’s Intergroup on Sport.
Tarabella said: “Ensuring the integrity of sport is fundamental to its future. It is not only about corruption and match-fixing, however; there is also doping, money laundering and so on.
“Unfortunately, some sports have ignored these issues and sport’s image as a whole has been blackened as a result.
“As the European Parliament’s resolution condemning the situation within Fifa shows, there is widespread support among MEPs for change across the sector.”