IMG Arena to Live Stream World Table Tennis Matches to Licensed Sportsbooks

Posted on: July 14, 2020, 09:46h. 

Last updated on: July 14, 2020, 12:23h.

IMG Arena has reached a long-term partnership with World Table Tennis (WTT) to livestream the upcoming league’s events and matches, along with its verified data, to licensed sportsbooks around the globe.

IMG Arena sports betting table tennis
World Table Tennis is coming in 2021, and IMG Arena will bring the action to US sports bettors. (Image: ITTF)

IMG Arena, a subsidiary of IMG — a global sports and entertainment talent management company — will distribute broadcast feeds of WTT tournaments to sports betting apps, as well as live, in-game data that bookmakers can use to set odds.

“Operator feedback tells us table tennis is a property that has significant untapped potential, and one which the industry feels will benefit from an improved sports betting solution,” said Freddie Long, executive vice president and managing director of IMG Arena.

Our move into the sport will allow us to significantly enhance the betting interface and boost engagement amongst existing and new fans,” he added.

WTT is the newest entity of the International Table Tennis Federation (IITF), which was founded in 1926. WTT will launch in January.

WTT is planning four Grand Smashes, similar to tennis majors. The league is additionally organizing the WTT Cup Finals, WTT Champions Series, and WTT Contenders Series. All events are TBD, but the league says the Smashes will be “marquee events that all players want to win and all cities want to host.”

Ping-Pong’s Ace

The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in sports bettors looking to new events to fulfill their itch. With all professional and collegiate sports suspended in the US, legal bookmakers turned to offbeat sports.

A few notable sports that were listed on US sports betting apps include Belarus soccer, darts, and Ukrainian table tennis. But the unexpected attention on the sports — and increased betting on the action — resulted in match-fixing concerns.

Last week, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement told state sportsbooks to suspend betting on all table tennis matches in Ukraine.

“While there is not yet any evidence that any match-fixing occurred in New Jersey, due to the nature of the alert, the Division is suspending approval for wagering on all table tennis events in the Ukraine, including, but not limited to, the Setka Cup, WIN Cup, and TT Cup,” the notice explained.

Detecting Malicious Activity

The table tennis events New Jersey gaming regulators forced sportsbooks to remove from their boards are not sanctioned by the ITTF. Instead, the Setka Cup is organized by an international sportsbook primarily for sports betting purposes. In fact, anyone can sign up to play.

The ITTF is table tennis’ premiere governing body. US gaming regulators will have far fewer qualms in allowing sportsbooks to offer lines on World Table Tennis, and the IMG Arena further satisfies potential apprehensions, as in-game data will be available for wagering platforms.

IMG Arena has a strong track record of working with federations and international sports organizations to both protect and grow sports via their innovative products and solutions,” said Steve Dainton, ITTF CEO and director of the WTT.

Once sports resume, IMG Arena will stream other professional leagues, including the English FA Cup, Italian Serie A, US Open and ATP tennis, EuroLeague basketball, NHL hockey, cricket, and World Snooker.