IOC up fight against irregular and illegal betting in sport

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The third meeting of the International Olympic Committee (IOC)’s Working Group on Irregular and Illegal Betting in Sport has concluded in Lausanne, Switzerland.

The meeting ended with the approval of a list of measures aimed at raising awareness, improving monitoring, intelligence and analysis, and strengthening or encouraging the adoption of legislation and regulations to combat the problem.

The Working Group, established on 1 March 2011, reviewed recommendations made by sub-groups of experts formed to look at three main areas: education; monitoring, intelligence and analysis; and legislation and regulations.

Composed of representatives from the sports world, governments, international organisations and betting operators, the Working Group endorsed the following series of proposals and methods for their implementation:

Education

  • Encourage all members of the sports movement to use existing programmes and tools to raise awareness among athletes, their entourage and sports organisations.
  • Identify all the means that could be developed, particularly through collaboration with national authorities and specialised agencies of the United Nations, to reach the widest possible sporting audience.

Monitoring, Exchange of information and Intelligence

  • Support the efforts of the Council of Europe and other regional public authorities, in conjunction with the IOC and the UN, to establish an information exchange network between existing national sports betting regulatory authorities, with an eye to including other national authorities in the future, in particular those in States outside Europe.
  • Continue, under the aegis of the IOC, to exchange points of view aimed at the creation of a common monitoring or information exchange system among the various sports betting operators; and the sharing of this information with national regulators, international organisations (such as Interpol) and betting operators, as well as with the sports movement during competitions or disciplinary investigations.

Legislation:

  • Encourage States that have not yet done so to pass legislation that allows for irregular and illegal sports-betting activity to be combated effectively.
  • Strongly urge all those involved in the sports movement to update their internal rules to have effective regulations, including in the area of sanctions, to combat all forms of cheating linked to sports betting.
  • Determine, in cooperation with UNODC, Interpol and the relevant European institutions, the most appropriate means to produce guidelines needed for international conventions to be applied to irregular or illegal betting. Call on all governments to support making illegal and irregular betting a criminal offence.

The Working Group also approved the formation of a monitoring unit, whose mandate will be to follow the progress of the implementation of these recommendations.

The monitoring unit will report its findings to the Working Group at its next meeting.

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