Issues around the integrity of esports betting have flourished again after the results of NBA 2K20’s all pro tournament were leaked online.
With almost all sports stopped indefinitely, bookmakers around the globe have been turning to esports to help fill the void. But with esports also working within unusual constraints, there are question marks around whether the integrity measures can be as stringent as usual.
With many bookmakers under the impression that the NBA 2K Players Tournament would be aired live on ESPN, in transpired that the matches were instead pre-recorded prior to the broadcast resulting in markets becoming compromised.
The leaks became apparent when the competition’s bottom seeded player Derrick Jones had an influx of bets being placed on him before his match against top seed Kevin Durant, one of the favourites to win the tournament.
Head oddsmaker at MyBookie.ag, David Strauss, stated to Reuters: “It became clear that somebody knew something, and that the results had been leaked. That’s a nightmare scenario for us. When a result is compromised, we close the lines and look for the info ourselves.
“It’s almost always in the forums or on Twitter.”
The leaks have raised questions about the validity of betting on an unknown esports tournaments. With bookmakers unaware if an event is live or pre-recorded, it could cause serious complications with regards to providing markets and ensuring that results are not leaked.
The issue does not appear to have impacted any regulated US bookmakers, but serves as a warning for them to be even more cautious when choosing which unusual sports to provide markets on.