IMG Arena Becomes Part of the International Betting Integrity Association

Posted on: December 7, 2021, 10:11h. 

Last updated on: December 7, 2021, 12:42h.

IMG Arena is the latest sports-related entity to join the International Betting Integrity Association (IBIA). The sports betting service provider and content hub is now an associate member of the organization. The addition brings the group’s total to more than 60 global companies.

Freddie Longe
Freddie Longe, IMG Arena’s EVP and Managing Director. The sports betting data provider and content hub is now part of the IBIA. (Image: Beat The Fish)

IMG Arena and the IBIA will now collaborate more extensively on betting integrity, as well as sports data distribution. Being an associate member of the IBIA means sharing “similar values to IBIA and its members on sporting integrity and related betting issues,” according to the announcement.

The IBIA is a not-for-profit organization formed in 2005 to highlight and enhance integrity in sports. The company’s mission is to prevent match-fixing at any level of sports, and it is linked to a number of leading sports organizations.

It has existing partnerships with FIFA, EUFA, the IOC, and more. The IBIA also produces reports used by regulators to target new laws and to go after those who break them.

IBIA Evolving with Betting Industry

The global gaming industry is almost in a constant state of flux. There is positive momentum driving the industry forward, while regulations continue to be fine-tuned. Technology is making it easier to uncover potential match-fixing and other integrity issues, helping keep most issues to a minimum.

As the industry changes, so does the IBIA. It previously maintained a two-tier system. But this was increased recently to three. These include betting operators, associate members, and strategic partners. According to the IBIA, this new structure allows the organization to better define its involvement in “international multi-sector engagement activity.”

IBIA CEO Khalid Ali believes the addition of IMG Arena is perfectly aligned with the organization’s growth. He called the entry of the company into the group a “natural progression” of engagement between the two. Ali added, “IBIA values IMG ARENA’s contribution to the protection of the integrity of sporting events and the related sports data rights that it distributes globally.”

Global Focus on Match- Fixing

Sports integrity is a topic that has to be addressed on a global level. The nature of sports indicates that only a set of standards applied to all sports could possibly ensure transparent games. This is sometimes difficult without standard laws and regulations across different countries.

The IBIA’s initiatives are designed to close that gap. By bringing onboard entities that serve different jurisdictions around the world, it is able to help increase the focus on integrity. At the same time, it can help identify potential problems that can be addressed by the proper authorities.

The level of match-fixing and skewed game outcomes is hard to pinpoint. Different studies have produced different results. The IBIA stated this past October that suspicious activity in the third quarter fell 14% from the same period last year.

Europe, with 60%, was where most of the potential infractions were found. Absent a global regulatory body overseeing sports integrity, only the programs established by the IBIA and similar organizations can help keep the numbers from rising.