Sportradar launched in 2001 with the intention of becoming the top service provider for licensed betting operators around the world; providing statistics, resulting, odds suggestions, virtual gaming, risk management services and more. They’ve accomplished that goal, added a sports data component to their business (work with 65 organizations, including NFL and NBA) and they have also established themselves as the authority in the sports betting Integrity Services space. With the legalization of sports betting imminent, JohnWallStreet took an opportunity to speak with Sportradar’s Director of Communications, Alex Inglot to discuss how Sportradar identifies match manipulation, the prevalence of match fixing and the highest profile game they flagged corruption within.
JWS: How does the company identify a game that may have been fixed?
Alex: We have unique access to the odds movements and odds patterns to over 600 bookmakers around the world. On the back of that data, we built what today are called Integrity Services; anchored in the idea that you can use betting patterns to identify suspicious or manipulated matches. Today we can also provide technology and monitoring systems to state governmental authorities to monitor regulated betting under their jurisdiction, something highly relevant to the US given the current sports betting regulatory climate.
JWS: You guys work with over 70 different sporting organizations across 17 different sports and have been offering Integrity Services since 2005. Are you regularly identifying games that have suspicious patterns or is this a rare occurrence?
Alex: The vast majority of the events we monitor do not display indications of suspicion, but we’ve identified over 3,506 matches (that have been manipulated), since 2009 and have initiated or supported well over 200 sporting sanctions and 24 criminal convictions; all using our reports and our analysis.
JWS: Is there one specific case that Sportradar is known for?
Alex: The most high-profile case we’ve been involved in is the case FIFA brought against Lamptey. FIFA brought a case against Ghanaian official Joseph Lamptey, the referee who officiated a World Cup qualifier between South Africa and Senegal in 2016 after we identified it as a fixed match; that the referee had manipulated the match to ensure a certain number of goals. The highest arbitration court for sports (CAS) determined our report was correct and Lamptey was banned from refereeing for life. The most important result from the case though, was that the match was replayed; the first time a match of that magnitude had been replayed due to match fixing.
Howie Long-Short: Sportradar raised a private equity round worth +/- $55 million in July ’12 from EQT Holdings Management (EQGP), a publicly traded private equity/venture capital firm with 11 exits (IPO/M&A) to its name. In October ’15, the company raised another +/- $45 million; Revolution led the round that also included Michael Jordan, Mark Cuban and Ted Leonsis.
Fan Marino: The SCOTUS has guaranteed a decision on the NJ betting case by the end of June, but expect that decision to come in the next 6 weeks. The SCOTUS typically rules on a case within 90 days of oral arguments, which last took place on December 14, 2017. It is possible the decision could come as soon as next Monday (March 5); April 2nd and April 30th would be the next 2 potential decision dates.
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