When the governing tennis bodies decided to install a Tennis Integrity Unit to detect irregularities on tennis matches, they never could have suspected that betting on tennis was on the rise. The TIU has found 292 irregularities on tennis matches in 2016. Which is an increase of 46 compared to the previous year, 2015. But if you think that the top layer of tennis is compromised then you couldn’t be more wrong. Most of the irregularities come from the lower levels of tennis with only eight notifications of irregularities coming from Grand Slams and ATP and WTA Tour.
While the TIU does a lot of good work, they aren’t without faults. Back in 2012 Buzzfeed and the BBC conducted an investigation into the top of layers of tennis and claimed that the TIU failed to heed warnings that there was big time match fixing happening in those circles of the sport. The TIU refuted all allegations.
A summary of the good works of the TIU would be:
- 9 players and officials convicted and sanctioned
- 5 cases involving lifetime bans
- 6 succesful prosecutions made in 2015.
“During the year, information received from partners in the betting industry confirmed an increasing number of matches at the lower levels of the professional game that were the subject of unusual or suspicious betting patterns. While this was not conclusive proof of corruption, it is an indication of concern that in all cases has to be investigated by the TIU,” according to Tennis Integrity Board chairman Philip Brook.
While the TIU does a great job of making sure that the integrity of the sport is warranted and maintained, websites containing sports betting tips, and in particular tennis, is on the rise.
Tennis has seen a huge turnover and online betting has seen a rise to billions of US dollars in the past year. The only other sport that exceeds that is football. Which is kind of crazy when you think about it. There are a lot of sports out there that get more exposure than tennis, such as American Football and Baseball and yet, tennis is the number two sport for online betting.
The current online betting market allows you to bet up to 18 different markets, including which player would win.
The other markets that you could bet on were: The next point, what player would win what set, the possibility of the tie breaker, odd or even numbers and many more. As long as there is a real time scoreboard, people will place bets.
A spokesperson for a betting company had the following to say about the betting trend in tennis:
“Early in the century internet betting on tennis was pretty small. There was not much in Betting Shops bar Wimbledon. But the growth of internet betting and betting in-play has seen it grow dramatically. It has surged through in the last decade to become the second biggest sport bet on behind football. ‘There are a lot of events played around the world each year and it is perfect for bet in-play. Better than cricket or golf. The problem with any sport which involves two players, be it Darts, Snooker of Tennis, is that if one of those players decides he or she is not going to try too hard it opens up big opportunities.”