Sports Betting Scandal Exposes Years of Tennis Match Fixing
According to a report by Buzzfeed and the BBC titled, The Tennis Racket, a large number of tennis’ top players accepted money from international betting syndicates to throw matches. Some of these matches are alleged to have taken place at some of the sports’ premiere events, including Wimbledon.
Even worse, according to Buzzfeed, multiple sports betting operators reported betting irregularities to regulatory agencies, but were ignored.
The bombshell story was sourced by a cache of documents and an unreleased 2007 report by the Association of Tennis Professionals. To beef up their case, Buzzfeed created an algorithm of their own that identified suspicious tennis betting patterns and the players who may have been involved.
In the absence of hard evidence such as recorded phone calls and texts, Buzzfeed did not identify the players involved by name. That said, the report does suggest that the players involved included a number of top 50 players, including several who are set to play in the upcoming Australian Open.
After the 2007 probe was shelved, the professional tennis world set up the Tennis Integrity Unity (TIU) an office to investigate suspicious activity among players. Since that time, the TIU has taken action against 13 players and banned 5 of them for life.
One group that actually comes out of The Tennis Racket looking pretty good is the regulated sports betting industry. Time and time again the system worked the way it’s supposed to and anti-corruption officers from various operators reported suspicious betting patterns.
Unfortunately, no one seemed to care.