IBIA Hopes To Keep Match-Fixing Out of Colombian Sports Through Fecoljuegos Partnership

Home » IBIA Hopes To Keep Match-Fixing Out of Colombian Sports Through Fecoljuegos Partnership

Posted on: March 17, 2022, 06:51h. 

Last updated on: March 17, 2022, 06:51h.

The International Betting Integrity Association is expanding its reach in Latin America. It has signed a new agreement with Colombia’s primary gaming operator group to address match-fixing in the country.

Jáminton Campaz
Jáminton Campaz playing for the Colombian national team blocks Alexander González during the America Cup last year. Colombian soccer teams will have increased attention to match-fixing as the IBIA partners with Fecoljuegos (Image: Marca Claro)

The International Betting Integrity Association (IBIA) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Colombian Federation of Entrepreneurs of Games of Fortune (Fecoljuegos, for its Spanish acronym). The aim is to establish projects and initiatives to combat match-fixing in Colombia and to protect the integrity of sports and sports betting clubs.

IBIA Lands in Colombia

IBIA has a significant presence around the world as gaming operators combat illegal activity such as sports match-fixing. The group now has the support of Fecoljuegos, as well, as it extends its reach in Latin America.

Fecoljuegos‎‎ is a non-profit entity that watches over the interests of gaming concessionaires in Colombia.‎ Betcris, Codere, Novomatic and Sportium are just a few of the operators affiliated with the organization.

The establishment of the Colombian National Committee for the Prevention of Manipulation of Sports Competitions is the first of its kind in the Latin American region. Fecoljuegos played an important role in its launch and we fully support the call to include integrity provisions in gambling legislation,” said IBIA CEO Khalid Ali.

In a recent report by H2 Gambling Capital, a company that focuses on data and intelligence about gambling, in 2021, the total gross profit on betting in Latin America was $1.9 billion. The market could reach $3.5 billion by 2026.

In Colombia, gross betting profits were around $808 million in 2021. By 2026, the figure could climb to $1.1 billion, according to analysts’ forecasts.

IBIA Tackles Match-Fixing

The IBIA is optimistic it, along with its members, can reduce match-fixing in the licensed sports betting industry. Its integrity monitoring system covers more than $137 billion in betting transactions per year worldwide.

Soccer and tennis are the sports with the most integrity issues. These two are routinely called out over concerns, with activity at the lower levels reportedly rife with match-fixing problems. Esports is also a target, with Sportradar recently reporting that questionable activity appears in one of every 384 matches.

IBIA’s data and its more than 70 members and partners have played a significant role in supporting the group’s efforts. Their involvement has led to investigations and sanctions against guilty parties. It has also helped prevent, in some cases, the appearance of questionable activity.

In 2021, the IBIA reported 239 suspicious betting activities to the relevant authorities in different countries. This was on par with what has been seen almost every year for the past four years. Its actions led to sports or criminal sanctions against 11 teams or players.

IBIA reported 121 alerts to relevant authorities in Latin America between 2017 and 2021. Of these, a total of nine alerts about suspicious games took place in Colombia – eight for tennis and one soccer.

The efforts of sports integrity watchdogs are important to both the sport itself and to the sports betting industry. It’s because of their efforts that sports organizations have eradicated certain issues.

Overall, however, match-fixing is not running wild. Sportradar’s recent analysis covered 500,000 matches and found 903 “suspicious incidents.” That’s just 0.18%. In an ideal world, the number would be 0%. However, complete elimination of suspicious activity in any industry will never be possible.

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