The Odds of Match Fixing
The Odds of Match Fixing – Facts & Figures on the integrity risk of certain sports bets
Media reports and interested stakeholders often suggest that certain types of sports bets would significantly increase the risks of match fixing occurring. These concerns also surface in policy discussions at both the national and European level. Frequently calls are made to prohibit the supply of “risky” sports bets as a means to preserve the integrity of sports competitions.
Questions about the appropriateness of imposing such limitations on the regulated sports betting, however, still linger. The lack of access to systematic empirical evidence on betting-related match fixing has so far limited the capacity of academic research to make a proper risk assessment of certain types of sports bets.
The ASSER International Sports Law Centre has conducted the first-ever study that assesses the integrity risks of certain sports bets on the basis of quantitative empirical evidence.
We uniquely obtained access to key statistics from Sportradar’s Fraud Detection System (FDS). A five-year dataset of football matches worldwide, which the FDS identified as likely to have been targeted by match fixers, enabled us to observe patterns and correlations with certain types of sports bets. In addition, representative samples of football bets placed with sports betting operator Betfair were collected and analysed.
The results presented in this report, which challenge several claims about the alleged risks generated by certain types of sports bets, hope to inform policy makers about the cost-effectiveness of imposing limits on the regulated sports betting offer.