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IBIA Publishes 2023 Integrity Report

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2023 saw a fall in suspicious alerts globally and an increase in successful sanctions for sports betting violations

The International Betting Integrity Association (IBIA), the leading global voice on integrity for the licensed sports betting industry, has published its 2023 sports betting integrity report.

The report highlights that the total number of suspicious sports betting alerts reported in 2023 fell to 184, which represents a decrease of 101, or 35%, on the revised 2022 figure of 285 alerts. The global alerts for 2023 are significantly below the average of 244 annual alerts for the period 2019 to 2022.

The report also highlights that IBIA’s suspicious betting activity data helped to prove that 74 matches were corrupted and found that there was an increase in the number of clubs, players and officials successfully sanctioned for violating sports betting rules.

When considering the number of alerts reported, it is important to recognise that IBIA’s ability to detect and deter suspicious betting activity has increased significantly in recent years; it now accounts for over US$137 billion of global betting turnover per annum, making IBIA the world’s leading operator-run integrity monitoring body.

These results confirm the importance of the legal requirement for regulated sports betting operators to join an international sports integrity monitoring body, increasingly imposed in well-regulated markets. That requirement was recently introduced in Brazil, which the 2023 report shows had the third highest number of suspicious betting alerts (11), behind the United Kingdom and the Czech Republic.

“The fall in last year’s global alert numbers is encouraging,” the Chief Executive Officer for the IBIA, Khalid Ali, said. “It confirms that our world-leading monitoring and alert network is making a very important contribution to deterring criminals from seeking to defraud our members and that increased collaboration between the IBIA, sports and regulators is a winning combination. Despite this progress, we must remain vigilant and recognize that the greatest threat to sports integrity comes from unregulated operators, most notably in Asia.”

IBIA uses suspicious betting activity data from its unique global monitoring network to help sports, regulators, policymakers and law enforcement to investigate and prosecute criminals. In 2023, IBIA alerts contributed to the investigations and subsequent successful sanctioning of 21 clubs, players and officials, an increase on the 15 sanctioned in 2022. Of the 21 sanctioned in 2023, there were eight tennis players, seven umpires and four snooker players.

In several of the cases, data from IBIA and its members helped contribute to significant sanctions, such as life bans, being issued. This collective action attests to the powerful impact of IBIA’s data and cross-sector partnership working.

In terms of individual sports, football was the sport with the majority of alerts with 63, with the number remaining relatively consistent over time, with 67 and 66 alerts reported in 2022 and 2021, respectively.

Tennis was the second most reported sport with 54 alerts. This represents a 49% decrease on the 2022 total of 106. On average, tennis alerts have been decreasing over the past years and for the first time the number of tennis alerts is below football.

“The ongoing decrease in tennis alerts along with notable reductions in table tennis and eSports is very encouraging,” Ali said. “IBIA will continue to work closely with the International Tennis Integrity Agency and other important partners in the sports sector to exchange information on suspicious betting and to support the prosecution of wrongdoing. The progress made in tennis over a number of years now demonstrates that successfully identifying and sanctioning match-fixing sends a powerful message to athletes and officials about the risks of engaging in match-fixing.”

The association publishes quarterly reports covering the integrity alerts reported through its monitoring and alert platform, which can be viewed here. IBIA can be contacted at Info @IBIA.bet.

eSports

Riot Games Announces VALORANT Esports EMEA Partnership With Unilumin

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With the start of the 2024 competitive VALORANT Esports season now underway, we’re proud to announce our partnership with Unilumin, a world leading LED display solution provider!

Unilumin has been instrumental in helping us level up the fan experience at the all-new Riot Games Arena with their industry-leading LED display technology, of which 250 square meters will now feature across the Riot Games Arena in Berlin. We’re so excited to welcome them on board as an official supplier for VCT EMEA, VALORANT Game Changers EMEA, and VALORANT Ascension EMEA.

Unilumin’s screens will light up the stage at the Berlin arena – and their logo will feature across various VALORANT Esports EMEA broadcasts throughout 2024. They’ve supplied display solutions globally from Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium to the Mercedes-Benz Arena, a mere stone’s throw away from us at the Riot Games Arena in Berlin. They’ve also worked with some of the biggest names in entertainment venues and global sports stadiums to illuminate events across the globe with grandstand, perimeter, and centerhung screens alongside scoreboards in major competition venues.

As we continue to level up the fan experience throughout 2024, we know Unilumin is the perfect partner to help us bring the most immersive experience and exciting atmosphere to the Riot Games Arena in Berlin, for our fans.

“Unilumin Sports is pleased to bring our solutions and technologies to the Riot Games Arena in Berlin and be a partner of VALORANT Esports in EMEA”, said Oscar Feng, the Global Director of Unilumin Sports. “We will use our well-designed products and fast response services to cooperate with Riot Games for their events and show the ultimate audio-visual experience to their fans.”

“After working with Unilumin for the refit of the Riot Games Arena, we’re delighted to welcome them as a supplier for our various VALORANT Esports EMEA events in 2024,” said Daniel Ringland, Head of VALORANT Esports EMEA. “Unilumin has helped us enhance the fan experience for those watching from home and joining us on-site, and we can’t wait to use their display technology throughout the season.”

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Tundra Esports Announces Addition of Ludwig ‘Zai’ Wahlberg as Dota 2 General Manager to the Team

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The veteran offlaner and captain will serve as the cornerstone for Tundra Esports’ Performance Management Team

Tundra Esports is delighted to announce the addition of Ludwig ‘Zai’ Wahlberg to its Dota 2 Performance Management Team, taking on the role of General Manager.

A household name in the competitive scene to both fans and peers alike, Wahlberg brings over tens years of experience, numerous championships and four top-three finishes at The International to the Tundra Esports tribe. Alongside his impressive tenures on some of the highest profile rosters in Dota’s history, he retains the impressive record of a 66.6% win rate across his 2,000+ game career; the highest of all pro Dota players*. For someone with such an intimate relationship with success in Dota 2, Wahlberg is expected to bring about a new level of excellence to the team’s management style and gameplay.

*With more than 200 pro matches played

Wahlberg’s addition further cements Tundra Esports’ commitment to growing and evolving its performance management team and the move marks a significant milestone for the organisation’s continued journey towards competitive success in the world of Dota 2.

“I’m thrilled to welcome Ludwig ‘Zai’ Wahlberg to Tundra Esports as the Dota 2 General Manager and support his journey into management after his illustrious playing career,” the co-founder and Esports Director for Tundra Esports, Anthony Graham, said. “We are doubling down on our approach to Dota and I don’t think there is a better person to lead our Dota operations going forward than Wahlberg.”

Wahlberg joins the already star-studded 2024 Tundra Esports Dota roster, consisting of:

1 – Ivan ‘Pure-‘ Moskalenko
2 – Topias ‘Topson’ Taavitsainen
3 – Ivan ‘MinD_ContRoL’ Ivanov
4 – Edgar ‘9Class’ Naltakian
5 – Matthew ‘Whitemon’ Filemon

“After an extensive break from the game, I’m very excited to be involved with Dota again but in a different capacity,” Wahlberg said. “I’m looking forward to stepping into a new role as General Manager for Tundra Esports and to use my previous experiences and insights as a player to manage and influence its Dota division.”

Fans will get to witness his impact on the team’s performance first-hand in its upcoming match against The International 12 champions Team Spirit this Sunday at DreamLeague Season 22.

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Esports to Beat Football? SOFTSWISS Shares Sports Betting Trends for 2024

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Esports to Beat Football? SOFTSWISS Shares Sports Betting Trends for 2024
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Esports is raising its position among top sports by bets in 2023. The product team of the SOFTSWISS Sportsbook, a top sports betting software provider, reflects on the past year.

 

Esports Unstoppable Rise

Over the past three years, the top three sports by bets remain unchanged, with football, tennis and basketball maintaining their leadership. In contrast, esports has demonstrated a consistent upward trend, progressing from the seventh position in 2021 to the fourth in 2023. Notably, Counter-Strike stands out, claiming the sixth position among the top ten disciplines by the number of bets.

Alexander Kamenetskyi, Head of SOFTSWISS Sportsbook, comments: “Considering the rise of esports, we guide our partners to focus on cyber disciplines, engaging audiences beyond traditional betting demographics. Highlighting the cybersports potential for operators, Newzoo’s report projects 640 million viewers by 2025.”

 

Mobiles Drive 92% of Operator GGR

Another notable trend in sports betting, which has remained unchanged for several years, is the consistent growth in bets made from mobile devices. According to the SOFTSWISS Sportsbook, 80% of bets in 2023 were placed via mobile versus 70% in 2022 and 68% in 2021. This trend solidifies as players increasingly opt for mobile convenience, especially in live betting scenarios. More importantly, it was mobile devices that contributed 92% to the operators’ GGR.

Kamenetskyi adds: “Mobile betting is one of our main focuses in product development. We put much effort into improving our mobile application and mobile website. It is specifically important for locations facing challenges with internet connectivity and regions like LatAm and Africa where internet coverage is still growing.”

 

Casino Turnover Drops During Major Sports Events

The SOFTSWISS Sportsbook team has repeatedly emphasised shifts in player behaviour around major sports events. Specifically, there was a 10–20% drop in online casino turnover, coinciding with the World Cup 2022. This highlights a dynamic wherein a significant portion of casino players redirect their focus towards sports betting based on seasonal patterns. Considering audience preferences, reinforcing casinos with sportsbooks is a logical step.

Kamenetskyi adds: “This pattern underscores the strategic imperative for iGaming stakeholders to recognise the synergistic relationship between casino ventures and sportsbooks. Combining these options not only enhances casino appeal but also maintains player engagement, especially during sports events. In this context, it is worth mentioning that the SOFTSWISS Sportsbook is compatible with any casino platform on the market.”

Additionally, the SOFTSWISS Sportsbook team notes the strengthening of other trends like regulation and responsible gambling that have recently been highlighted in the iGaming Trends 2024 report by SOFTSWISS. The SOFTSWISS Sportsbook team will be glad to discuss all learnings during the first SBC Summit Rio at the stand D360.

 

About SOFTSWISS 

SOFTSWISS is an international tech company supplying software solutions for managing iGaming projects. The expert team, which counts over 2,000 employees, is based in Malta, Poland and Georgia. SOFTSWISS holds a number of gaming licences and provides one-stop-shop iGaming software solutions. The company has a vast product portfolio, including the Online Casino Platform, the Game Aggregator with thousands of casino games, the Affilka affiliate platform, the Sportsbook Platform and the Jackpot Aggregator. In 2013, SOFTSWISS was the first in the world to introduce a Bitcoin-optimised online casino solution.

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