The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the regulated betting industry today announced a new information reporting arrangement surrounding any suspicious betting activity. The agreement signed by the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) and the European Sports Security Association (ESSA) comes ahead of the highly anticipated 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi (Russia) but will extend to include Rio 2016.
IOC Communications Director Mark Adams said that: “The Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) between the IOC and various betting operators and regulators, including the ESSA and the EGBA are part of our concerted strategy to support clean sport and protect major competitions from any form of manipulation, particularly those linked to betting. We are very pleased with these agreements, which build on our successful collaboration during London 2012.”
In the event of any issue related to betting integrity at the Olympic Games or competitions organised by the International Federations (IFs), the MoU will allow ESSA and the EGBA members to share data with the IOC in their newly established “Integrity Betting Intelligence System” (IBIS). Making its first appearance at the Sochi games, the IBIS collates alerts and information on manipulation through betting on sport. It will also be placed at the disposal of International Federations during their major championships.
“ESSA fully supports the establishment of the IBIS, and this new information reporting arrangement further cements our sectors’ joint resolve to detect, deter and report corrupt activity in sport,” stated Khalid Ali, Secretary General of ESSA.
Maarten Haijer, Secretary General of EGBA, said that “the MoUs signed between EGBA, ESSA and IOC send a clear message that the sports betting industry takes the issue of match-fixing very seriously and will face it head on. Sports, the public and betting operators all lose out from match fixing. The regulated betting operators work hard to promote a fair and untainted gaming experience for all.”
The EGBA and ESSA have been active in the fight against match fixing for many years. As early as 2010 they pioneered with the EU Athletes an education campaign (now co-funded by the European Union – see link) to educate professional sports people about sports betting integrity.
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