The International Olympic Committee has announced the measures they will take to fight match-fixing ahead of the Winter games in Beijing. Notably, the Committee has partnered with several bet monitoring organisations, including data suppliers and tech companies. Sportradar, the International Betting Integrity Association (IBIA) and Global Lottery Monitoring System (GLMS) are among their new partners. In addition, the Council of Europe’s network of national platforms – the Group of Copenhagen – as well as major betting regulatory authorities and a ‘large number’ of international gambling firms will also participate in the IOC’s 24/7 bet monitoring operations at Olympic House in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Monitoring will also be conducted by the Olympic Movement Unit on the Prevention of the Manipulation of Competitions. It has already conducted a ‘thorough assessment’ of the seven winter sports and 15 disciplines on the Beijing 2022 programme in relation to the risks posed by competition manipulation linked to sports betting, with information shared with the International Sports Federations.
Meanwhile Digitain is expecting a ‘record number of bets’ at the Olympics. The company believes that Pyongyang 2018 will be easily surpassed by the amount of stakes accepted. The most popular sports for betting on the Winter games, based on the 2018 experience, are ice hockey, biathlon, and curling.
Ivan Kurochkin comments
The Olympic Games often find themselves in scandals associated with a variety of ways to influence the outcome of the competition. Apparently, by cooperating with several organizations at once, the purpose of which is to prevent match-fixing, the IOC wants to minimize the possible risks associated with the manipulation of the course and outcome of a sporting event.
We have previously discussed cooperation between UEFA and Sportradar regarding the monitoring and prevention of match-fixing. Now Sportradar will also help the IOC.
Why such serious preparation? Modern information technologies allow gambling companies to create more and more versatile options for making bets. Current trends in gambling regulation allow more and more countries to legalize and regulate gambling, which means that the number of players around the world is growing rapidly. Without improvements to existing mechanisms for ensuring responsible gaming, the industry will be doomed to have more scandals related to match-fixing.
Sportradar, IBIA, and GLMS will work with the IOC not only to monitor and prevent match-fixing, but also to actively conduct an information campaign aimed at raising the awareness among sports fans and gamblers about the risks associated with sports betting during major international competitions, as well as working with athletes, bookmakers and lotteries that offer sports predictions, promoting among them a set of rules that are recommended to be used in order to comply with the requirements of fair and responsible gambling.