|According to British newspaper The Daily Telegraph, security staff at Betfair.com delayed payment this week on bets laid on a women's tennis match played in India after becoming concerned about what appeared to be irregular gambling patterns.|
The match was in the quarter finals of the Sunfeast Open in Kolkata two weeks ago, between Byelorussia’s Tatiana Poutchek, the world number 96, and the Ukraine’s Mariya Koryttseva, ranked 120. Koryttseva won in straight sets but officials at Betfair contacted the Sony Ericsson Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) Tour and informed them that they were delaying payment as they felt there was reason to investigate what seemed to be suspicious betting patterns during the match.
The newspaper reported that almost two million dollars had been wagered on the match’s outcome with Betfair, who retains a large fraud and security department, conducting an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the match before paying.
'We need to be certain that the markets are clean,' said Mark Davies, Director of Communications for Betfair.com. 'We delayed settlement. We then settled as normal. We wanted to check that we were happy and in the end we were.'
This disclosure comes in the wake of revelations that a number of players on the men's tour including Britain's Arvind Parmar and Belgium's Gilles Elseneer have turned down approaches to throw matches.
In August, Betfair.com refused to pay out more than six million dollars in winnings for bets that had been put on the outcome of Nikolay Davydenko's match against a little-known Argentine player at a tournament in Poland. Davydenko, the world number four from Russia, retired during the third set after citing an injury and is currently being investigated by tennis officials.
'We have a zero tolerance policy when it comes to gambling-related activity and we have been in close contact with Betfair and are investigating this situation,' said Andrew Walker, Vice-President for the WTA Tour.
'To be clear, at this time there is no indication of any wrongdoing by anyone.'