Council of Europe Keep Crime out of Sport Project (KCOOS) (I.) | II. Global Lottery Monitoring System for Sport Betting (II.)
I. Council of Europe Keep Crime out of Sport Project (KCOOS)
In January 2016, the Keep Crime out of Sport Project (KCOOS), partly funded by the European Commission, officially kicked-off, with the objective to promote the CoE Convention on the Manipulations of Sport Competitions and to develop capacity-building in terms of the implementation of its main provisions. With integrity being one of the core lottery values, EL joined the strong network of KCOOS partners (including the IOC, INTERPOL, ARJEL, UK Gambling Commission and Oxford research). From the very beginning, EL has actively contributed with input and suggestions in the progress of the project.
Following the kick-off of the meeting, a questionnaire was sent to various stakeholders with the objective to better understand the challenges that certain states might face in terms of the implementation of the provisions of the Convention, as well as the support they may require, and also to ascertain where the different countries stand in this respect. The questionnaires were analysed by the project partner Oxford Research in close cooperation with the Council of Europe.
The project went on with the organisation of regional seminars (along with the participation of different states), which were informed by the questionnaires’ analysis. Lotteries were pleased to be actively involved in this phase. The first Regional Seminar was held in the Hague on 20-21 June 2016, attended by the Chairman of EL Sport WG, Walter de Beauvesier Watson. The 2nd Regional Seminar was held in Zagreb, Croatia. GLMS Secretary General, Sarah Lacarrière, was one of the speakers and had the chance to present the GLMS operations and also moderate one of the sessions. In the 3rd Regional Seminar in Copenhagen, on 4-5 October 2016, the 40 participants of the Seminar (coming from Nordic countries) had the chance to visit the GLMS Operational Headquarters in Brondby and receive a very operational presentation by GLMS Operators, Chris Rasmussen and Kim Ragle. Finally, in the 5th Regional Seminar, which was held in Athens, Greece on 8-9 November, EL Sport Executive Secretary, Vagelis Alexandrakis, moderated a session about the practical implementation of the provisions of the Convention, notably the sharing of information, the setting up of national platforms, and the measures against illegal betting.
The Regional Seminars were quite interactive and operational, involving representatives of states coming from different fields (law enforcement, sport, state and regulatory authorities, and betting operators). In total, more than 30 states had the opportunity to receive support and assistance regarding the provisions of the Convention. As a next step, the project will go on with the study visits and expert missions, which will be led by ARJEL and the UK Gambling Commission. The KCOOS work will eventually culminate in the development of a practical how-to guide on implementing measures to fight manipulation of sports competitions.
II. Global Lottery Monitoring System for Sport Betting
In January 2015, the Dutch Football Association KNVB, received some signals regarding a possible manipulated match by an Albanian club, KF Skënderbeu Korçë. This club played friendly matches against Dutch clubs during the winterstop in Spain. The Dutch FA approached GLMS through its member De Lotto (now Nederlandse Loterij), asking for insights into the betting patterns of the matches in question.
“When we heard of these signals we started an investigation into this matter. We contacted our national lottery partner and asked if GLMS detected suspicious betting patterns. A few hours later we received reports from GLMS based on odds movements from the international, Asian and lottery markets and from the GLMS-members point of view,” said Wouter Boshuis, Dutch FA Integrity Officer.
Skënderbeu is now well known in the match fixing sanction record as the European football governing body (UEFA) and has taken the club through a long and demanding yet successful disciplinary procedure. Indeed, in July 2016, the Court of Arbitration of Sport (CAS) dismissed Skënderbeu’s appeal against the UEFA decision to ban the club from the Champions League for one season due to its involvement in fixed matches (source UEFA).
The words of thanks received last month by GLMS from the Dutch football association is an important recognition of the value and impact of the lottery association cooperation. “With this valuable information we could advise our clubs to organize friendly matches in the future against opponents they know, and not to organize matches against teams with a questionable reputation.” – Dutch FA
GLMS serves as a preemptive tool to its members and other parties with such on-demand requests. It is central to the cooperation between sports organizations and all stakeholders on sports betting features worldwide and associated risks.
GLMS is the state lotteries’ mutualized monitoring system on sports betting. It aims at detecting and analyzing suspicious betting activities that could question the integrity of a sport competition. Building on six years of experience with the establishment in 2009 of ELMS with European Lotteries, GLMS went global in January 2015 extending the network to other continents. GLMS facilitates the sharing of sports betting information as part of the collective efforts of its members in ensuring sports integrity globally, and is dedicated to effective cooperation with all key stakeholders: regulators, law enforcement authorities, sports organizations.
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