IBIA calls for new global standards for data collection

21 May 2020

The International Betting Integrity Association (IBIA) has called on all parties in the sports betting data supply chain to develop a set of global best practice standards for all providers.

The integrity watchdog argued this cross-provider coordination would help protect the integrity of sport, as well as ensure high standards of data, and in turn betting products generated through use of that data.

“Upholding the reliability and credibility of sporting event data is of paramount importance for my members and the challenges posed by the pandemic have further highlighted the necessity for robust data chains,” IBIA chief executive Khalid Ali (pictured) explained.

“There is a clear benefit for everyone involved in the data supply chain in ensuring that such data is a product of high levels of accuracy and transparency.”

Ali said the IBIA and its members had been considering the issue internally for some time, but believed now was the time to go a step further by having a proper industry-wide debate.

“To that end, IBIA is asking all stakeholders, notably data providers, to proactively engage with the association and its members to develop and implement agreed best practice standards around the sale, collation and distribution of sports data for betting,” he added.

Data provider Stats Perform, an affiliate member of IBIA, said it fully supported and commended the association for leading the call for uniform standards.

“As a truly global sports entity, with considerable business across the media and professional sports sectors as well as betting, trust in sport is paramount to us, as well as being vital for all our customers and the sports industry itself," the supplier's chief betting officer Andrew Ashenden said. "Over many years we have invested in an unparalleled integrity and quality control infrastructure and that investment continues to be at the heart of our operations.

"Data integrity issues wherever they originate are harmful for the industry and we are looking forward to contributing our expertise via the IBIA and its members on the development of global best practice," he contineud. "We have always maintained that collaboration in this space across sporting federations, governing bodies, third party integrity providers, regulators, operators and data suppliers is vital.”

Stats Perform's head of integrity Jake Marsh added that the business had the strongest quality assurance and integrity processes in place across its data supply chain. 

"We look forward to working with all their members and other stakeholders on best practices in order to help protect the integrity of sport and betting.”

IBIA’s calls come days after it issued a joint warning, alongside the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU), of an increased risk of manipulation in the sport, as tournaments and matches resume following the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

It therefore urged all operators, both among its members and across the wider industry, and data providers to ensure match-fixing attempts could be quickly identified and prevented.