Double trouble for tennis match fixers as Sportradar and ESSA agree to pair up

By David Cook
Sportradar and ESSA are to combine resources to fight match fixing in tennis.

The partnership will bring together the efforts of Sportradar’s Fraud Detection Service and ESSA’s customer transactional data, with the overall goal being that their findings can provide a market overview and alert system.

Sportradar operates as a sports data company, but also offers security services, and ESSA describes itself as an early warning system provider.

ESSA’s data showed that 73 suspicious alerts for tennis were flagged last year, out of a total of 100.

Tennis scored almost four times higher than any other sport, with football placing second with 19 alerts.

ESSA chairman Mike O’Kane said: “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.”

This announcement comes at a time where heavier media scrutiny is being placed on potential match fixing in tennis, following a joint investigation from BBC and BuzzFeed News, published in January, alleging that 15 players had lost heavy-betting matches often between 2009 and 2015 among other claims.

An investigation by the Guardian, published in February, revealed that several tennis umpires had been secretly banned or suspended for manipulating Sportradar’s data system after taking bribes from betting syndicates to delay the inputting of scores into the system.

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