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AI roots out 73% of suspicious matches in Sportradar’s 2023 Integrity Report 

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Sportradar’s annual Integrity Report revealed it had detected 1,329 suspicious matches during 2023, with AI helping to uncover nearly three quarters of all questionable activity.

Sportradar monitored close to 850,000 events during 2023 – spanning 70 sports, with a total of 1,329 suspicious events occurring across 11 of those sports.

Despite the rise in the number of detections, the actual rate of suspected manipulation remained stable at 0.21% when taking Sportradar’s enhanced artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities into account. The 1-in-467 manipulation rate was almost level with the 1-in-473 events total from 2022.

Overall, 99.5% of events had no suspicious betting take place, while no sport had a suspicious match ratio higher than 1%. Both of those statistics were the same as last year.

As per Sportradar’s expectations, football and basketball led the way for detections with 880 and 205 suspicious matches respectively. Table tennis was third with 70.

Sportradar’s integrity work contributed to 147 sporting and criminal sanctions, across 10 sports and 23 countries. One case alone led to 10 snooker players being found guilty of match fixing and other charges.

Andreas Krannich, Sportradar’s executive vice-president of integrity, rights protection and regulatory services, stated: “Continued investment in the development of technology is key to detecting otherwise hard-to-find occurrences of match-fixing.

“Further advancements in the fight against match-fixing will be possible as the AI models continue to learn and we will keep honing our expertise to protect sport from manipulation.”

Rises in Europe and Asia during 2023

Asia was the continent with the biggest rise in suspicious events, with 60 more detections than in the 2022 report.

Europe had the second largest jump in suspicious matches with 32 more than last year. The continent still leads the way with 667 total detections, to second-placed Asia’s 302.

Despite a reduction in 44 suspicious match detections in Brazil in 2023, it still had the most of all countries with 109 across the year. Overall, there was a 29% drop in suspicious sporting events in Brazil between 2022 and 2023. In positive news, the country also saw its detections decline for the first time since 2020.

Notably, 40% of all suspicious matches took place in the 10 countries most affected by match fixing, highlighting a clustering of activity. Football was responsible for 71.5% of those events, while basketball represented 17.5%.

Utilising the power of AI

sportradar has made improvements to its ai technology

Sportradar attributed the detection of 977 suspicious matches to AI in 2023, a 123% increase on the year prior, as the company’s technology continues to improve and become more effective. AI helped to detect 73% of all suspicious matches in 2023.

These improvements include further AI integration into Sportradar’s Universal Fraud Detection System (UFDS), which was redeveloped to give analysts real-time access to AI-generated data.

The enhancements to Sportradar’s AI and UFDS has allowed action to be taken faster when suspicious activity is flagged up. This has enabled “better quality and accuracy of detection”.

Sportradar’s renewed integrity partnership with AFC

The report’s findings of Asia being the continent with the largest rise in suspicious matches comes after Sportradar penned an extension to its integrity partnership with the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) in January.

The partnership between the pair began in 2013, with the new deal set to run from 2024 to 2027.

Sportradar will continue to work alongside the AFC on a range of integrity matters. This will include a joint effort to tackle issues, such as match-fixing, in Asian football.

The AFC president, Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, welcomed the extended deal. He stated the partnership had already helped clamp down on match-fixing in football across Asia.

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