The Global Lottery Monitoring System (GLMS) was alerted to 1402 suspicious matches throughout 2021, catalysed by the increasing challenges proposed by the pandemic.
Publishing its annual report 2021, the President of GLMS Ludovico Calvi described the year as another ‘pandemic-ridden’ year containing several major sporting events including the UEFA 2020 Championships, the Tokyo Olympic Games and the inaugural FIFA Men’s Arab Cup.
Whilst successfully monitoring sporting events against match-fixing throughout the year, Calvi noted that the challenge of the pandemic, twinned with the busy sporting calendar made 2021 a ‘busy’ period.
“Every single day there is a new incident of sport competition manipulation reported, this has been particularly true since the outbreak of the pandemic,” Calvi stated.
“The sports ecosystem has never been so vulnerable as today and this makes match-fixing one the greatest threats to modern sport.”
GLMS oversaw the sporting events of its 40 partner members using its traffic light threat alert system. Green, yellow and red alerts correlate to low, medium and high risk with regards to suspicious betting patterns and odds movements.
Of the 1402 alerts during 2021, 91 were identified as ‘red’ high-risk alerts, of which 43 were generated pre-match or during in-play. Furthermore, there were 331 ‘yellow’ medium risk alerts and 747 ‘green’ low-risk alerts respectively and 223 alerts marked as ‘other’.
Breaking down the alerts by sport, football generated the most reports with 1005 alerts, 551 of which were attributed to European matches, as 190 alerts were respectively recorded by Asian and South American leagues.
The next highest number of alerts came from basketball with 167 alerts, followed by the increasingly popular esports, which generated 121 alerts throughout 2021.
GLMS data noted that Hungary was the most responsive country in terms of engagement with member partners, with the country submitting 234 reports, closely followed by the Netherlands, whose active members submitted 213 reports.
Strategically, GLMS placed a focus on education during the last 12 months, concluding its Integriball ERASMUS+ 2020-2021, designed to educate women’s and grassroots football players on the dangers of match-fixing across Europe.
The programme, accompanied by four football federations and one football players’ union, has helped to educate over 1000 players and coaches across Europe and is still being delivered in five partner countries.
2021 also saw President Calvi re-elected for a third term leading the organisation’s operations. He is being assisted by Gilles Maillet, of Française des Jeux (FDJ) as Vice-Chair with the executive leadership team concluded by the appointment of Luca Esposito and General Secretary.
“It is an important acknowledgement not only to our institutional credibility but above all, to the quality of the technical and strategic contribution by GLMS and its members to the Council of Europe over the years,” Calvi summarised.