Sportradar and the European Sport Security Association (ESSA) recently announced that they have decided to join forces in order to address the issues of match-fixing in tennis and clean up the sport. Sportradar is a company that specializes in collecting and analyzing sports data and ESSA was founded by top sports betting operators to monitor the integrity of sports and to highlight suspicious sports betting incidents.
The collaboration between the two companies will bring together vast experience and enable both to leverage each other’s resources to eradicate corruption from tennis across the globe. During the last twelve months, there have been a number of reports stating that match-fixing in tennis was a common occurrence and that some grand slam winners were also involved.
Some of the top players in the world including Roger Federer and Andy Murray have called on the authorities to investigate these claims and take strict action against any players involved in match fixing. However there have been no charges levelled against any specific players as of now due to a lack of evidence.
The partnership between ESSA and Sportradar will help ESSA leverage Sportradar’s special Fraud Detection Service which covers more than 450 operators across the globe while Sportradar will be able to take advantage of ESSA’s large database of customer data to develop an alert system and a detailed market overview. The first objection of the partnership is to focus on the sport of tennis and make sure that any suspicious activity is rooted out. Once this project is completed, the two companies will consider looking at other sports and expanding their coverage.
In a statement, Mike O’Kane, Chairman of ESSA said “The arrangement has clear benefits for both parties and represents a growing desire to complement each other’s efforts around match-fixing. By utilising the core strengths of both systems we have the potential to create an unparalleled level of data from which to detect betting related corruption. That can then be used to stamp out attacks on betting operators and protect sporting events; put simply, everyone wins.”
ESSA recently published its first quarter integrity statistics and has launched a number of programs focused on addressing the issue of illegal betting and match-fixing in sports. Some of these new programs include a special player education programme with EU Athletes as well as “Keep Crime out of Sport” an international project which is funded by the European Commission and led by the Council of Europe.
Sportradar has also been rolling out a number of participant and player education programs in a number of different sports. Sportradar ran a program for handball in Croatia during the SEHA Gazprom League Finals and also for the eSports industry during the Intel Extreme Masters in Poland.