Writing for iGaming Business, Kambi Head Sportsbook Controller, Oliver Lamb, believes the lessons learned in Europe can help keep sports in Latin America safe from manipulation
As the Latin American betting market moves towards the European model of country by country regulation, a host of established operators and suppliers are looking to gain a foothold in the region. As ever they will be vying for local consumers’ attention by presenting them with the vast offerings that they already provide overseas.
The last few years has seen a veritable arms race in terms of the breadth and depth of these offerings, as operators push to provide more and more events pre-match and in-play, and evermore markets within those events.
It may well be that these offerings have now reached critical mass. European players can bet around the clock on pretty much any sport or market that they literally can think of, a situation that is slowly being replicated in newly regulated South American markets, such as Colombia.
Learning from experience
Whilst in the main the events being offered involve paid professionals competing at the peak of their sports, there is no doubt that low level, low pay events present a higher risk of potential criminal manipulation.
Fortunately, the vast majority of licensed operators and suppliers offering such events have many years’ experience, enabling them to not only spot potential manipulation quickly, but the most established of them will already be part of global integrity networks such as ESSA. This means these operators are ready and willing to escalate their concerns to the appropriate integrity bodies for further investigation.
At Kambi we contribute to the flow of information within these networks on a daily basis, reporting to and receiving information from our operator partners, regulators, sports governing bodies and data suppliers.
As with many other companies in our space, we have an expansive offering and have long leveraged our years of trading expertise, our internal integrity data base and cutting edge technology to protect not only the reputations and profitability of our partners, but also to safeguard sport itself.
Each event as it comes
Before we even open an event, our ‘safety first’ approach sees us assign it an integrity grading, choosing the appropriate limits and markets – and that is if we decide to offer it at all. Should suspicious activity be noted, it is quickly spotted by our real-time detection systems, analysed by our experts and escalated to the appropriate organisations.
Likewise, we regularly review our integrity procedures to ensure that we are staying ahead of the curve and making our platform a hostile environment for those wishing to manipulate sporting events from any angle. For example, sometimes an event may not be manipulated at all, rather the data itself sent to sportsbooks to power their live offerings is corrupted via ‘ghost games’ or false inputs by scouts.
We only work with official data suppliers who have the highest vetting standards of their scouting network and the data that they produce, and work collaboratively with them to ensure that end users and operators are not being taken advantage of.
As regulation continues in Latin America there may be concerns that offering local, low level events could increase the possibility of corrupt elements profiting from the opportunities that are presented, yet the European model has also shown clearly the benefits of regulation in this area.
Operators, suppliers and regulators that are ready to engage with the global integrity network will make these new markets unwelcome places for match fixers. As a continent that lives sport like no other, protecting integrity is of paramount importance. Licensed sportsbooks will always have these protections front and centre; fans can sit back and enjoy the game.