fraud detection system (fds)

Sportradar’s Fraud Detection System (FDS) is a unique service that identifies betting-related manipulation in sport. This is possible due to the FDS’s sophisticated algorithms and constantly maintained database of odds which are leveraged for the purpose of detecting match-fixing.

Sportradar provides the FDS to a host of major organisations in 17 different sports including football, rugby, cricket, ice-hockey, basketball and eSports. We also enjoy close working relationships with law enforcement agencies and police across the world.

Evolving through various incarnations since 2005, today’s FDS monitors odds movements across over 550 betting operators, including Asian and European bookmakers, betting exchanges and state lotteries, regulated and unregulated markets in order to get the most complete overview of global betting market. Currently, the FDS team, comprising of over 40 highly-qualified integrity analysts, operate from three separate offices in London, Manila and Sydney. They are supported by over 5,000 data journalists and over 75 freelance researchers across the world and oversee in excess of 160,000 matches each year, using their vast experience and expertise to investigate suspicious betting patterns around-the-clock.

By tracking odds changes and liquidity across such a wide range of markets, the FDS is in an unrivalled position to detect irregular betting patterns in real-time, both pre-match and live (inplay). With the team’s thorough specialist knowledge of both the betting markets and the sports (team news, local rumours, match action), the team can reach a conclusion regarding the integrity of any match. In each case where fraudulent activity is suspected, a comprehensive report is compiled within 72 hours; providing an excellent platform for any potential disciplinary proceedings or criminal investigations into match-fixing.

MAIN COMPONENTS

betting database

550+ Betting Operators

The odds movements at over 550 independent bookmakers and state lotteries are tracked in real-time in order to detect any anomalous betting patterns. All key betting markets are monitored to ensure that manipulation is detected.

Worldwide Betting Coverage

The worldwide betting markets offered by retail and online bookmakers, betting exchanges, spread betting firms and state lotteries all receive extensive coverage. Match-fixing, though an international business, can be localised. The FDS has observed highly suspicious betting patterns in one area of the market, with other sections ignored by the match-fixers. This is due to match-fixers either looking to avoid detection or betting at convenient operators. Since the FDS tracks bookmakers, both large and small, Asian and European, public and private, regulated and unregulated, every odds movement is scrutinised.

5 Billion+ Datasets

The real-time tracking of odds from bookmakers across the world means that Sportradar processes over 5 billion datasets on average per day. All odds changes in the key betting markets from FDS-monitored bookmakers are tracked. On occasion, match-fixers operate in specialist markets which would ordinarily go undetected. However, since a range of markets from ‘Half-time/ Full-time’ to ‘First Team to Score’ are tracked, even the most subtle manipulation can be identified.

Statistics

Sportradar compiles its own comprehensive in-house statistics for a range of sports, including player, team, head-to-head, league and overall sports statistics. These statistics help us to understand odds movements and so conclude whether they are legitimate. However, when betting patterns defy recognised and legitimate explanations, it is then that the match and odds movements begin to raise concerns. Therefore, thorough statistical analysis serves as a basis for fraud detection and is used alongside the betting patterns, team news and private information sources to reach the correct conclusion.

24/7 Global Coverage

To ensure a comprehensive and continuous monitoring service of the worldwide betting market, the FDS operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Match-fixing can and does occur in every corner of the globe and therefore time-stamped and real-time data is the key to the effective scrutiny of suspicious fixtures.

Scientific Alerting System

44 Pre-Match Alerts

The FDS operates on 44 detailed pre-match alerts which are based on the odds movements observed at betting operators. An alert is generated in the FDS when odds at a bookmaker change by greater than pre-defined parameters, which can be adjusted and tailored to the specific demands of the different sports, leagues and competitions worldwide. As explained, match-fixing occurs in different forms and the FDS alerts are designed accordingly: to encompass all aspects of the different betting markets available.

25 Live Alerts

Sportradar has created a sophisticated mathematical model which allows for the monitoring of live betting on offer during an event. There are 25 live alerts, which instantly identify irregular betting in the marketplace. The mathematical model uses calculated odds, which run alongside bookmakers’ odds, in order to highlight whether odds in a specific minute or time period are out of line and, therefore, potentially suspicious. Sportradar’s calculated odds have served as an invaluable tool in the detection of manipulated matches. The deviations between actual bookmaker odds and our calculated odds can highlight that individuals had prior knowledge of certain results.

Expertise and Experience

40+ Senior Integrity Analysts

Over 40 full-time senior integrity analysts are employed to run the FDS. These analysts have all the necessary skills and knowledge to identify suspicious patterns and all have direct experience of working in different areas of the betting industry: Asian bookmakers, European bookmakers (retail and online), betting exchanges, spread betting and state lotteries.

Professional Experience

This amalgamation of specialist knowledge allows for precise evaluation of all betting patterns from the various bookmakers monitored by the FDS, in addition to any privately sourced information. The FDS also utilises information from multi-lingual local experts so that intelligence gathered can be communicated as needed to customers.

Working Relationships

The FDS has been in operation for several years and over that time we have established excellent working relationships with sports organisations, police and law enforcement agencies. These cross-industry partnership have been invaluable in the investigation of worldwide match-fixing, as well as giving Sportradar an excellent insight into the way that match-fixing operations run.

Extensive Network

To ensure that the FDS has all possible information, it is supported by an extensive network of over 75 freelance researchers who provide pertinent local information and market intelligence on all teams and leagues that are monitored.

Bookmaker Network and MTS

The FDS also benefits extensively from the direct reporting of concerns from Sportradar’s network of global bookmakers and from access to bookmaker staking data via Sportradar’s Managed Trading Services (MTS) which provide an effective liability management service for sports betting operators. The service runs on a ticket-by-ticket basis, meaning our awareness runs effectively at (anonymous) account level.

Unrivalled Level of Coverage

160,000+ Matches

The FDS currently monitors in excess of over 160,000 matches around the world each year across 17 different sports. The FDS has the capability to monitor these sports for both pre-match and live betting manipulation.

Worldwide Monitoring

Sportradar has the capacity and expertise to implement the monitoring of any sport and its related betting markets, both pre-match and live, from across the globe. The Sportradar team of mathematicians has created live betting models for over 17 different sports, ensuring the team can detect unusual betting patterns as they happen.

ESCALATION PROCESS

Monitoring

Analysis

Escalation

Reporting

Investigation

Academic Review

In January 2015, Sportradar approached two international experts – David Forrest, Professor of Economics at the University of Liverpool, and Ian McHale, Professor of Sports Analytics at the Unversity of Salford – to undertake a full and independent analysis of the Fraud Detection System. The six-month review involved rigorous testing, auditing and interviews, and ultimately confirmed the quality and reliability of our processes and conclusions.

The review found that the system’s coverage of the global market is “very wide”, the betting data is “free of error” and information gathered from sources is “subject to robust checks to ensure accuracy”. The authors found that the procedures for reaching a decision on manipulation are rigorously set out and followed, and that the qualifications and collective experience of the team of analysts equip them to make reliable assessments of the evidence. The overall conclusion from the review is that matches reported as suspicious by the FDS are “very likely to have been manipulated”.

To read the full review, please click here

To read the summary of the review, please click on the icon of your preferred language.

 

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