As the first European association of sport betting operators. EL has established in 2005 a pan-European Monitoring System (ELMS) and has been sharing information about suspicious bets on sports events with UEFA, FIFA, IOC and other sport governing bodies.
EL members passed a Resolution on Public Order and the Integrity of Sport, in which EL commits to a large number of concrete actions in this area such as:
- Expand the EL Monitoring System (ELMS) to a global monitoring system for sport bets which includes members of the World Lottery Association (WLA) from Asia and other parts of the world
- Promote the idea of establishing an international sport integrity agency
- Promote the idea of a mandatory „solidarity and integrity payment‟ from all sport betting operators to financially support measures needed to fight
betting manipulations of sports events
- Promote strict legislation against money laundering through sport betting, sport fraud and conflicts of interests between betting operators and sport clubs, teams or active athletes, as it already exists in some European countries
- Urge regulators to continue to restrict/prohibit certain types of bets that pose a high risk to the integrity of sport competitions and set limits to pay-out ratios
EL also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with SportAccord, which unites 90 international sports federations, to formalise and extend the close cooperation in the area of sport integrity initiated in 2010. Earlier this year, EL and WLA launched with SportAccord a sport betting integrity education programme for athletes and sport officials.
EL has been pursuing and now decided to intensify its efforts along three main lines of action:
1. legislation; 2. best practices; 3. ways and means.
While several European countries already adopted strict legislation against money laundering through sport betting, sport fraud (classifying it as a specific and criminal offence) and conflicts of interests between betting operators and sport clubs, teams or active athletes, many European countries have not. The EU‟s Third Anti-Money Laundering Directive only covers land- based casinos (and their online business), not sport betting.
2. Best practices
In contrast to commercial sport betting operators, EL agrees with the sport movement that certain types of bets (e.g. live betting; exchange betting; bets on lower- or junior league matches) pose a higher risk for manipulations of sport events. Restrictions or even a ban on these risky bets must be upheld, or, if not implemented yet, seriously discussed. The same is true for very high pay-out ratios (average winnings by the bettor), which make sport betting more attractive for money laundering purposes than games with lower payout-ratios.
3. Ways and means
Building on historic ties with the sport movement: Many EL members have been set up by national governments to generate funding for sport infrastructure and activities, hence the long-term and close relationship to sport. EL members contribute more than 2 billion EUR to the funding of sport in the EU each year – long-term, sustainable funding on which sport could and can rely on, even in times of economic crisis.
Driving the debate on sport integrity: EL is the only association of betting operators to agree with the sport movement that betting manipulations are as serious a threat to the integrity of sport as doping. EL was the first European association to adopt a strict code of conduct on sport betting in 2007 which also addresses the issue of potential conflicts of interests between betting operators and clubs, teams or athletes. EL and WLA were also the first to call for the strong involvement of Interpol and for a World Sport Integrity Agency.