Sportradar Highlights How Vital AI Is for Detecting Match-Fixing

  • Sportradar flagged 0.21% of sporting events it monitored last year
  • The company leveraged AI to identify 73% of these matches
  • Its efforts led to 147 criminal and sporting sanctions in 2023
Robot and soccer ball
A new report from Sportradar shows how much benefit it gets from leveraging AI technology when looking out for match-fixing. [Image:]

A game-changer

A new report underscores the effectiveness of leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) to identify match-fixing. Sportradar Integrity Services has combined different sources and datasets to create an algorithm to help it detect suspicious betting activity.

The Universal Fraud Detection System (UFDS) can quickly spot strange movements in odds or concerning betting patterns that may require further investigation.

actively monitored approximately 850,000 events in 2023

Sportradar’s annual integrity report detailed how the company actively monitored approximately 850,000 events in 2023, covering 70 sports. The results were similar to the 2022 figures, with 0.21% of games getting flagged for one reason or another.

No major upticks

Sportradar utilized AI to flag 73% of the suspicious events, a significant increase compared to 2022 figures. The UFDS model uses a probability rating approach which marks matches that register a high score for further analysis.

Europe topped the list for the most incidents with 667

The vast majority of the highlighted events involved male participants, with just 34 of the 1,295 flagged contests featuring females. Europe topped the list for the most incidents with 667, followed by Asia with 302 and South America with 217. North America accounted for just 35 of the matches.

Brazil led the way with the highest number of cases for a specific country, followed by the Czech Republic and the Philippines. Soccer games made up 66% of the suspicious incidents, with basketball and table tennis coming next in the rankings. Of the flagged soccer events, 95% of the concerns related to live betting.

Continuing the fight

The efforts of Sportradar led to 147 criminal and sports sanctions last year. One of the biggest cases involved ten professional snooker players who engaged in match-fixing, with two of them receiving lifetime bans from the sport for acting as the ringleaders.

The Sportradar Integrity Exchange is made up of 77 sportsbook operators that proactively submit any alarming betting information. They flagged 449 matches last year, with Sportradar classifying 159 of them as suspicious.

Sportradar’s Executive Vice President of Integrity, Rights Protection & Regulatory Services Andreas Krannich said that leveraging new technology is vital for “detecting otherwise hard-to-find occurrences of match-fixing.” He believes that the efficiency levels will only improve as AI models learn more and the team’s expertise grows.

Sportradar is predicting similar results in 2024 due to ongoing economic uncertainty and the lack of proper integrity measures in many regions. It also noted that the risk of athletes and match officials getting tempted into engaging in match-fixing remains high, especially when they are getting close to the end of their careers.

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