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Asia with largest increase in sports match fixing in 2023 – Report


A recent report by Sportradar has shed light on the concerning rise in match fixing in various regions, with Asia said to have experienced the highest increase in number of suspicious matches when compared to 2022.

Sportradar Integrity Services, a unit of Sportradar, published its annual report, ‘Betting Corruption and Match-fixing in 2023’, detailing the company’s findings into suspicious betting on global sport.

Based on the monitoring of approximately 850,000 events and matches across 70 sports, the report highlights a total of 1,329 suspicious matches in 2023, occurring in 11 sports in 105 countries.

The report indicates that while match-fixing remains a global issue, certain regions, particularly Asia and Europe, have seen significant spikes in suspicious activities.

In 2023, a total of 880 suspicious matches were detected globally, marking a notable increase of 103 matches compared to the previous year. Soccer continued to be the most affected sport, accounting for the majority of suspicious matches, with a total of 667 incidents reported in Europe, followed by 302 in Asia and 217 in South America.

Furthermore, the report highlights that 40 percent of suspicious matches occurred within the top 10 countries most impacted by match-fixing in 2023.

The trend of match-fixing in soccer has persisted over the past two decades, with soccer consistently topping the list of affected sports.

While soccer dominated in terms of sheer numbers, basketball emerged as the second most affected sport by match-fixing occurrences in 2023.

Illegal Betting, Sports Betting

Although the total number of suspicious basketball matches decreased slightly compared to 2022, with 205 incidents reported, the issue remains prevalent, particularly in Asia.

Interestingly, the report reveals a shift in the geographical distribution of suspicious matches, with Asia overtaking Europe as the leading continent in terms of match-fixing incidents.

In 2023, Asia accounted for 109 suspicious matches, compared to 81 in Europe. This represents a significant change from 2022 when Europe reported 137 incidents compared to Asia’s 63.

Point shaving, a tactic commonly associated with basketball, accounted for 18 percent of all suspicious matches in 2023, up from 10 percent in 2022. This trend highlights the prevalence of match manipulation in Asian basketball leagues.

In organized sports, point shaving is a type of match fixing where the perpetrators try to change the final score of a game without changing who wins. This is typically done by players colluding with gamblers to prevent a team from covering a published point spread, where gamblers bet on the margin of victory.

While tennis saw a decrease in the number of suspicious matches compared to the previous year, with 61 incidents reported in 2023, the sport remains susceptible to match-fixing across various regions.

Notably, the report emphasizes that the individuals responsible for suspected manipulations are not necessarily linked to the countries where the matches took place.

Data and reporting from Sportradar Integrity Services last year was said to have contributed to a total of 147 sporting and criminal sanctions, spanning 10 sports in 23 countries across 39 cases.

Nelson Moura
Nelson Moura
Editor and reporter with 10 years of experience in Greater China, namely Taiwan and Macau, in printed and online media, with a focus on finance, gaming, politics, crime, business and social issues.