Int’l Betting Integrity Assn. Wants Latin America to Improve Sports Oversight

Posted on: May 9, 2023, 08:47h. 

Last updated on: May 9, 2023, 11:35h.

Online sports betting continues to grow rapidly throughout Latin America. As it does, according to the International Betting Integrity Association (IBIA), the region will have to take the issue of integrity in sports more seriously.

Brazilian soccer players on the field
Brazilian soccer players on the field. The country’s match-fixing problems are one of the reasons the IBIA wants Latin America to increase its oversight of integrity in sports. (Image: Reuters)

The IBIA’s Q1 Integrity Report shows there is a necessity for betting solutions in Latin America as Brazil makes preparations to implement regulated sports betting. The report underscores the importance of the organization’s member associations in identifying and stopping instances of fraudulent behavior in sports.

The report covers 40 cases of suspicious betting activity in the first quarter of the year, with 22 countries and nine sports being involved. Tennis and soccer continue to be the front-runners in betting-related scandals.

Serving Up Faults

Soccer is at the top of the integrity issue, a place it has held for years. It was responsible for most of the alerts, with tennis coming in second with 12 alerts. This is a significant drop from last year’s average of 24 in the sport.

Among the countries, Spain stood out, accumulating eight alerts. This is equal to the combined total achieved by Spanish events throughout all of 2022.

The report thoroughly examined the LatAm market, and the IBIA found approximately 105 cases of questionable gambling activities in the region from 2018 to 2022. The report discusses this finding and presents an in-depth analysis and assertions concerning this matter.

Out of all the alerts for the LatAm region, Brazil acquired 33 of them, approximately 31%, to top the regional list. The Dominican Republic and Mexico followed with 10% each, while Argentina and Peru received 9%.

Soccer alerts ranked the highest in Brazil, accounting for 63%, with tennis following at 21%. The Brazilian sports betting market is rapidly expanding, which is why IBIA emphasized the significance of maintaining the industry’s viability and trustworthiness by giving priority to integrity.

As a result, IBIA CEO Khalid Ali wants the betting industry to do more to police all facets of the activity. He called on everyone, including operators, policymakers, and sports executives, to coordinate and collaborate on sports integrity policies to reduce the risk of match-fixing in all sports.

IBIA Continues to Guide the Industry

Approximately half of all the world’s global commercial online betting, which includes operators generating a combined sports betting volume of $137 billion, hold an IBIA membership. The organization sent 268 alerts to various sports regulatory bodies last year, marking a 14% increase from 2021 and surpassing the 230 alerts from 2020.

Out of the total alerts recorded for 14 different sports and 61 countries, Europe has the highest number with 126, which equals 50% of all alerts. Conversely, Asia, Africa, North America, South America, and Australia had 51, 25, 22, 19, and one alert, respectively.

While it may have dropped in LatAm, tennis had the most global alerts with 102, showing a surge from 80 in 2021. Soccer followed with 67 alerts, compared to 66 in 2021.