OHL Moves To Protect Integrity As Sports Betting Set To Grow

Written By Dave Briggs on January 18, 2022 - Last Updated on February 23, 2022
Integrity compass

The Ontario Hockey League has signed a multi-year integrity and education deal with Sportradar Integrity Services to help prevent match-fixing. The move comes as the OHL prepares for an explosion of sports betting in Ontario when the market opens on April 4.

Sportradar’s Universal Fraud Detection System will monitor the OHL and the two other Canadian Hockey League loops — the Western Hockey League and the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. The system will look for threats of fixed games. Also, Sportradar will provide an eLearning tutorial to educate players and team officials on how best to recognize and react to integrity threats.

Furthermore, Sportradar will provide the CHL with an integrity audit. And, the company’s Intelligence and Investigation team will also assist investigations into potential integrity breaches.

Finally, the education component is essential for young athletes.

Ontario sports betting market about to explode

Sportradar announced the deal with the CHL on Jan. 13.

“The CHL is fully committed to protecting all of our league-wide stakeholders from the threat of match-fixing,” CHL president Dan MacKenzie said in a statement.

The Ontario sports betting market could open to outside operators early in February or March 2022. As a result, Sportradar’s director of global partnerships said the deal was well-timed.

“As new sports betting markets open up across North America, we look forward to supporting the CHL through our best-in-class products and services,” said Andy Cunningham.

Growing clientele

The NBA, MLB and NHL also have partnerships with Sportradar. The addition of the CHL increases Sportradar’s portfolio of hockey partners to nine leagues and federations.

Sportradar employs a global team of integrity experts that searches for irregular betting patterns and reports them. In 16 years, Sportradar has witnessed more than 6,600 suspicious matches, with 900 of them flagged in 2021.

Provinces yet to weigh in

Proline Plus, Ontario’s only legal online sportsbook, currently does not take bets on OHL games, but does take them on junior games in the Quebec and Western Canada leagues.

Proline also takes bets on the professional American Hockey League. As well, you can bet on pro hockey leagues in France, Sweden and Switzerland through Proline.

Photo by Shutterstock
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Dave Briggs

Before joining PlayOntario, Dave spent more than 25 years as a writer and editor, mainly covering horse racing in Canada. He holds a master's degree in journalism from Western University and was a 2018 inductee into the Communicators' Corner of the U.S. Harness Racing Hall of Fame. Beyond a deep passion for family and music, Dave has a mostly-tragic, life-long love of Detroit sports teams. He lives in Port Stanley, Ontario with his wife and their beloved Vizsla named California.

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