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Three Wimbledon matches flagged over suspicious betting

Fri, Jul 21, 9:29am by Staff Writer

The European Sports Security Association (ESSA) has released its second quarter of 2017 findings, and the news is once again not good for the sport of tennis, and its showpiece event, Wimbledon.

While the total number of cases of suspicious betting activities were down 27% on the previous quarter to 53, 31 were tennis incidents, three of which occurred at the recently completed Wimbledon Championships, including one in the main championship draw and two matches in the qualifying stages.

One match at the French Open tournament also identified, along with four others at tour events on the ATP and WTA tennis circuits.

All the tennis matches that have been flagged will now be sent to ESSA’s Tennis Integrity Unit, who will further investigate the betting activity which has taken place.

The organisation deems a betting pattern is suspicious if typical bet sizes or volumes continue even after significant price corrections have been made to deter such activity in the market.

The watchdog then makes enquiries with all its members to eliminate the possibility that these unusual betting patterns could be legitimate errors, such as pricing the betting market incorrectly, before they are confirmed as suspicious.

ESSA secretary general Khalid Ali said in a statement released with the findings: “Betting integrity issues continue to be a key feature of stakeholder discussions at national and international levels.”

ESSA has been asked by the Council of Europe (CoE) to deliver a report on behalf of the “private sports betting industry highlighting the challenges facing regulated operators to feed into the CoE’s ongoing efforts to ratify the match-fixing Convention and implement international standards.”

“The principal focus of the report will be the information exchange between operators, sports and national platforms and how to identify risk and improve risk management.

“This important process will also feed into ESSA’s own integrity conference in London on 12 October.”

Suspicious betting activity in tennis has been discussed for many years but the focus and attention reached fever pitch following the joint investigation in January 2016 by the BBC and Buzz Feed News.

The remainder of the incidents that were identified by the non-profit organisation, came in football (soccer) matches, with 15, while five basketball games were flagged and one in both handball and volleyball fixtures.

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