Press releases 26th July 2016

ESSA & the IOC strengthen security protocols ahead of Rio

The regulated betting industry’s integrity body ESSA and its members will be employing a heightened level of security during the Rio 2016 Olympic Games to protect the event from betting-related corruption. It will see a strengthening of the association’s cooperation with the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Integrity Betting Intelligence System (IBIS) covering all 306 events during the upcoming Games.

ESSA and its members have experience of working with the Olympic authorities following a successful integrity collaboration during the London 2012 Olympic Games. The cooperation policy employed for that event has become a blueprint for all future Olympic events and underpins the Rio approach. The IOC has also introduced a number of additional integrity measures (see here) since the London Games, including the establishment of the IOC IBIS and a cooperation agreement with Interpol.

For its part, ESSA has continued to expand its membership base and information sharing agreements with regulatory authorities, most recently seeing deals concluded with the French and Lithuanian regulators to add to existing partnerships with the UK, Gibraltar, Alderney and Malta. The association now includes 21 of the world’s largest regulated betting operators feeding into its alert and reporting system which will be employed to identify suspicious betting during the Games, running 5-21 August.

“Sport isn’t sport unless it is fair and its outcome not predetermined, and whilst we haven’t seen any unusual betting activity in previous Games, we are not complacent about the dangers that corrupters continue to present to the sporting and betting sectors. ESSA and its responsible regulated members are intent on doing all we can to help the IOC to protect the world’s pinnacle multi-sport event from betting related corruption,” said Khalid Ali, Secretary General of ESSA.

“The information sharing relationship with betting companies is a key pillar of the IOC’s integrity strategy and is a crucial part of the IBIS system. It is an approach that is based on partnership and cooperation between parties with a mutual goal to prevent corruption from destroying the ethics and values of sport. The IOC welcomes the continuing commitment of ESSA and its members in this fight,” said Pâquerette Girard Zappelli, the IOC’s Ethics & Compliance Chief Officer.

ESSA holds positions on match-fixing policy forums at the European Commission, Council of Europe and the IOC. It is also driving a number of activities aimed at addressing match-fixing, including a player education programme with EU Athletes (see here) and an international project, entitled ‘Keep Crime out of Sport’, led by the Council of Europe and funded by the European Commission (see here). ESSA recently released its Q2 2016 integrity report, which can be accessed here.

• This media release was originally published on the ESSA internet site on 25 July 2016. To access the original, please click here.

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