European Sports Security Association (ESSA) welcomes IOC betting integrity recommendations
Brussels, 14 April, 2015 The International Olympic Committee (IOC) yesterday at the first International Forum for Sports Integrity (IFSI) in Lausanne adopted new proposals to boost sports betting integrity. As a key stakeholder, ESSA, the leading industry body on this issue, has been involved in this process and endorses the proposals in full. The IOC has drawn up its latest series of wide-ranging recommendations in partnership with key stakeholders, including ESSA and the regulated betting sector. Adopted at IFSI, these proposals build on the success of previous measures combatting fraud agreed at preceding meetings such as the Founding Working Group on the Fight against Irregular and Illegal Betting in Sport (2011-2013). “We are pleased we could be part of this initiative. These measures are an important milestone in the drive by sporting bodies and the regulated betting industry to keep sport clean and protect consumers, regulated betting operators and athletes from unscrupulous activities,” said Mike O’Kane, ESSA chairman. He added: “They underline the breadth and depth of international support among stakeholders for the IOC’s initiatives in promoting sporting integrity and for joint action to combat match-fixing and other fraudulent activities. Cooperation between all interested parties is crucial.” The IOC recommendations include: Extending the reach of athlete education; Creating national integrity platforms; Developing a coordinated approach on the exchange of information and intelligence; Consolidating the IOC’s Integrity Betting Intelligence System (IBIS); Getting all governments to sign the Council of Europe’s Convention on competition manipulation; and Setting minimum criminal standards for match-fixing. “Education, information exchange and partnership building have long been core components of ESSA’s strategy and it is important that these remain the focus. Credit should go to the IOC for continuing to include all responsible stakeholders in its integrity discussions as the best and only way to be effective in this area.” O’Kane said. “It is vital that we continue to build on this initiative and retain an inclusive, open and transparent evidence-based discussion. As responsible, regulated betting operators we want to share data on match fixing and all countries should ratify the Council of Europe Convention, which will allow operators to share confidential data in a protected environment with established national platforms. It remains the case that ESSA operators do provide the industry integrity standard when it comes to protecting its customers from match fixing," he added.