“The house always wins” is one of the oldest adages in sports betting. It also has to be the most reliable quote, as many bettors would confirm when they’ve been bitten.
Here is the other side of the story.
Alexander Kamenetskyi, Sportsbook Product Owner at SOFTSWISS, talks about the steps Sportsbooks is taking to keep fraudulent activity at bay.
You must read the interview for its lucid and succinct deconstruction of the frauds that take place in the betting arena.
It’s time for the interview now!
Q. We had a fabulous Euro 2020, in which Italy rightly emerged as a winner. The betting industry also saw a flourishing activity during the period. But it has been reported that the level of betting fraud has increased in multiple ways. As a Sportsbook Product Owner, how do you see the situation?
A. First of all, I would like to congratulate all the fans of the Italian national team on their victory! We were finally able to enjoy the football battles of Euro 2020. In my opinion, it was an incredible championship full of dramatic and exciting moments.
As the statistics show, such important events always see a spike in fraud cases and that is why we are always ready to monitor such activity and mitigate the risks for our clients.
Q. Could you share some practical experiences where you encountered fraudulent activity and how you dealt with it?
A. Scammers are always trying to find the weaknesses of the system in the bookie lines and exploit them. This time they knew that they had a chance to go unnoticed for a long time, because the attention of all bookmakers was drawn to Euro 2020. Often bookmakers can also contribute to the appearance of such fraudsters themselves .
Speaking of the SOFTSWISS Sportsbook team, we are fully prepared for the arrival of unwanted guests. During the championship we mostly saw players with forged documents, but our platform just had the tools to track down and prevent such manipulation.
Typically, scammers bet on unpopular types of sports and weak leagues. Sometimes they attend matches in person or they bet ahead when there is a fast video broadcast. It’s fairly easy to follow, and we resolve such cases fairly quickly.
Quite often in such cases, players “artificially” increase their maximum stakes for specific markets (eg through betting on multiple accounts), but we avoid this by analyzing player stakes and activity.
We have our own risk management and fraud teams, as well as the risk management team at Betradar and Managed Trading Services. We are also in the process of developing automated tracking systems.
Q. What type of fraud do you normally anticipate as a sports betting operator?
A. The list is not extensive.
First, come the “arbers”, or players who find arbitrage situations between bookmakers and exploit them.
Second, there are “button players” who place bets seconds after the outcome is clear.
There are also “valuebetters”, or those who bet on higher odds or with an edge.
Then there are the intermediate betting players, who play mostly for the total, and usually with an advantage.
And then there is the very prevalent type of scammer – the bonus hunter. Bonus hunters find the weak points of bookmaker promotions and exploit them to their advantage. Some of them may be white hat bonus hunters and we even have someone like that on our team.
Of course, match fixing is the bane of the sports industry and one of the most serious offenses. Of course, there are many other types of sports betting frauds, but the ones I mentioned are the most common.
Q. How do you plan to fight against potential fraud?
A. We are working on developing our own sports betting risk management team. We are also building our internal risk management tools (RMT). Our RMT system is based on a long experience in the field, market needs, new innovative technologies and artificial intelligence. The system will be universal in that it will help us to work not only with fraudsters, but also with ordinary players.
Q. Could you share some information about software checks and AI-based analytics that make it easier to detect and prevent fraud in betting?
A. Unfortunately, I cannot reveal all the cards because RMT is an anti-fraud system. I can only say that we are developing tools that rely on artificial intelligence based on data analysis. We are already working on unique tools to tackle the main types of fraud, which will react not only to the style of play but also to the overall behavior of the players.
I can also add that our protection system not only works for each project separately, but encompasses all brands on our platform.
Q. Coming back to Euro 2020, what are the news related to fraudulent bets? Is this a case of emerging new age scammers or a case of former punters getting smarter, just like Italian defenders?
A. The Italian defenders showed us a level of play that we can admire. I can say that the average con artist is quite diverse. The experienced guy is always on the lookout for new projects, wrong proposals, and mostly uses trite and true scam methods. Young crooks put more emphasis on modern methods such as bots.
Q. Do all fraud detection and prevention mechanisms affect the sheer pleasure of splashing around? Will the whole process become cumbersome for real punters? I would like to hear your thoughts on this topic.
A. Our tools work not only with negative players, but also with positive ones. We pay a lot of attention to working with those players who have proven themselves to be honest and conscientious. Additionally, we create great bonus offers for our players that encourage their gambling activity and do not use complex betting systems. We are also very keen to introduce gamification to the platform in the near future, which is currently in development.
Q. Finally, how do you see fraudulent activities and prevention mechanisms evolving in the future? What’s your bet on this?
A. The world of betting is huge, but it has not yet reached its peak. Of course, fraud will continue to grow and there are many reasons for this.
Newbie bookmakers unfamiliar with sports betting basics will continue to create inaccurate bonus offers, miscalculate bonus calculations, and create bonus overlap. Errors in the betting lines and a lack of analytical work will continue to generate negative results.
It is our job to create a product that strengthens the operator against negative results, but we are not able to completely isolate ourselves from the market. That is why we will be working on new tools to fight fraud and further improve the quality of our product, above all, so that ordinary gamers can enjoy the game.
Our main task is to provide high quality and reliable product to players. Sports betting is a great way to have fun. And that’s why we create a safe and secure environment around sports betting with SOFTSWISS Sportsbook.