Online Gambling Betfair Calls ITF Integrity Unit

Published Thursday, June 25, 2009 -

Betfair one of the U.K.'s largest and most respected sportsbooks discovered some suspicious betting trends on their site for the first round of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships.

Betfair noticed that the average number of bets for the first round of Wimbledon was far in excess of the usual trend. This unusual actvity has prompted the company to alert authorities to possible problems within the wagering world. The match against Austrian Jugen Melzer and American Wayne Odesnik was taking in ten times the expected number of bets and close to $1 million dollars on Melzer to win. The betting norm for a first round Wimbledon match is closer to $100,000.

The Integrity Unit of the International Tennis Federation is now conducting an investigation into alleged corruption on the match. In accordance with the European Sports Leagues and the online gambling operators agreement Betfair was compelled to report the unusual wagering activity.

Speaking to the Associated Press, Mark Davies of Betfair said, "It's being reported as potential corruption, but I don't see it that way at all," adding, "I doubt that there was any wrongdoing." Explaining the reasons for Betfair reporting the incident he said, "Because of the transparency, we pass that info on to the Tennis Integrity Unit. Then they can make a judgment. But having heard the commentary on the match, I don't suspect that this is going to turn out to be any kind of corruption story."

When reviewing the situation it was noted that a sports commentator reported that Odesnik had a thigh injury. This "news".changed the odds on the game. In the end, Melzer did win. Odesnik said afterwards he did not have an injury of any sort. Espn reported a conversation with Odesnik in which he stated, "I don't have an injury! I called a trainer after the first set when I felt a tiny something in my hamstring. He put hot cream on it during the changeover - I didn't even call an injury timeout - and it went away. The trainer waited a game and asked me and I said it was fine. It didn't affect the outcome of the match."I have no injury, I'm perfectly fine."

To date no comments have been forthcoming from Wimbledon officials or the investigating unit as the inquiry is still ongoing.

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