Fuel for the debate on whether online wagering is good or bad for sports was made available to the anti-wagering side when it was revealed by the Tennis Integrity Unit that suspect betting incidents on professional tennis’ lowest rung, the Futures circuit, went from 14 in 2012 to 246 in 2015.
The increases coincide with when online betting outlets started offering markets on the lower ranks of tennis.
The Grand Slam level was not immune from suspicion, either. Five incidents of suspicious wagering at the top level were detected and then, there was a suspension of betting in mixed doubles at the Australian Open.
Tennis is receiving unwanted attention due to the ease with which a player could deliberately throw a match by making an errant shot appear accidental.
Details of the investigation of the Australian Open mixed doubles incident have yet to be released out of a concern for the reputations of the players involved, but the confidentiality of the investigation was compromised by media reports, according to Niger Willerton, the head of the Tennis Integrity Unit.
He was referring to a report by Pinnacle Sports that pointed to betting trends that did not appear to jibe with the overall perception of the market for the match between David Marrero and Lara Arruabarrena versus Andrea Hlavackova and Lukasz Kubot.