IOC Adds a Gambling Monitor to Watch for Cheating in Rio

  • Olympics betting legal in Nevada for first time since 2001
  • About $1 billion to be wagered worldwide on Olympic Games

The International Olympic Committee has chosen a London-based firm to watch for suspicious gambling on the Games, which might point to cheating in the competition.

Genius Sports’s Sports Integrity Monitor service will use data from regulated and unregulated betting markets, looking for anything unusual, which might suggest match-fixing. It will report trends in real time to sport governing bodies, leaving them to decide whether anything is amiss.

Betting on the Rio Olympics will draw about $1 billion in legal and illegal bets globally, according to Chris Eaton, the former head of security at FIFA and an expert in match fixing. That would be 50 times less than what’s wagered on the World Cup, eight times less than what’s bet on the final alone.

That estimate includes Nevada sports books, which will take bets on the Olympics for the first time since 2001, when it was banned during Senator John McCain’s push to prohibit betting on all amateur sports. Nevada’s regulations changed last year, allowing for bets on the Games.

The agreement between the IOC and Genius Sports covers all competitions covered by the IOC’s three-year-old Integrity Betting Intelligence System (IBIS), including the Olympics and some competitions organized by international federations.

Genius Sports also works with the English Premier League and Major League Baseball.

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