Fraud detection system to detect betting patterns in IPL 2020

A team of over 50 analysts from Sportradar, an integrity solutions firm, will work collectively to access each match that the FDS flags up.

All the matches of the IPL, which begins on Saturday, will be monitored by Sportradar’s integrity services to detect betting irregularities. - K. R. DEEPAK

As the Indian Premier League (IPL) gets ready for another edition - this time in the United Arab Emirates - the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has roped in Sportradar, an integrity solutions and sports data product firm, to support the Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) to monitor and safeguard the integrity of the game during the league.

As per the agreement, all the matches of the IPL, which begins on Saturday, will be monitored by Sportradar’s integrity services to detect betting irregularities. The firm will also provide a risk assessment to the BCCI driven by intelligence and data-driven insights.

But then, how does the Fraud Detection System work in a sporting landscape?

In an email interview with Sportstar, Tom Mace, the Director Global Operations for Sportradar Integrity Services, confirmed that a team of over 50 analysts will work collectively to access each match that the FDS flags up.

Q. How does Sportradar plan to operate during the IPL in terms of Fraud Detection System?

A. The Fraud Detection System (FDS) is built to monitor any suspicious or unusual betting patterns from all variations of cricket events, including the T20 format. The formats may be different, but the key betting markets and ways of betting remain the same, and from a sports integrity standpoint, the methods of manipulation remain similar. The FDS will generate alerts when there is any deviation from the norm at any global bookmaker on any IPL match, and our specialist cricket analysts will then be able to investigate these alerts for any indication of foul play.

For the IPL, we will be using a mix of our FDS system coupled by human analysis to determine if matches are suspicious or not, and then escalate further if necessary. Our team of over 50 analysts will work collectively to access each match that the FDS flags up.

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Can you could explain to us how FDS works?

The FDS is a technical alerting system. First and foremost, it is an odds monitoring system. It monitors odds in the markets of over 600 bookmakers, 24/7/365, ensuring that anomalous patterns from online operators, betting exchanges, national lotteries from Europe, Asia, and the rest of the world are all factored into the analysis, as well as data from over 120 account monitored bookmakers and information reported directly by our extensive bookmaking network of more than 80 global bookmakers.

Our approach is to pair quantitative analysis with qualitative examination by our team of over 100-plus integrity experts, who then investigate betting alerts in real time, and it is the only monitoring system to have been described as ‘reliable evidence’ by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

Since players will be inside the bubble during the IPL, how challenging or easy will it be to monitor the whole process?

The possibility of corruption or manipulations or approaches still exist even if the concerns of corruption or approaches from match-fixers can be kept under control in the bio-secure bubble. No doubt, there is very little scope of direct physical access from any outsider but with technology support one can still initiate or attempt manipulations or corruptions. The monitoring by the FDS is not affected by the bubble.

Director Global Operations for Sportradar Integrity Services, Tom Mace. - SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

 

How will you coordinate with the BCCI ACU in terms of providing information related to frauds and other illegal activities?

When the FDS flags abnormal betting activity, we have a team of integrity experts – specially trained to analyse betting patterns – who start their investigations. In most cases a legitimate explanation for the betting can be found, but in those instances where we confirm match-fixing, we report to the sporting body and from this point we work closely with them, providing betting evidence and further supporting information to assist their investigations.

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Our integrity work has led to over 5,100 matches being reported as very likely manipulated for betting purposes, and this has played a pivotal role in the inception and support of cases which has led to the delivery of over 420 sporting sanctions and 33 criminal convictions across the world.

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