Integrity is the cornerstone of sporting events and betting on sports completely depends on the games being fair and secure. The Integrity body ESSA revealed in February of 2017 that it reported 130 cases of suspicious betting activity during 2016, with tennis the main sport raising concerns. Geographically Europe attracted the most reports to ESSA with 71 cases put forward in the 12-month period, 45 related to tennis, while Asia had 24 reported cases.
Mike O’Kane, ESSA chairman said last month, “The figures show that the dangers from the misuse of insider information and match-fixing persist for betting operators.” O’Kane continued, “ESSA will continue to be an ardent and vocal supporter of responsible regulated operators and utilise our alert system to protect our growing list of members, consumers and sports from betting related corruption.”
Efforts are being made in many parts of Europe to stem the corruption tide. Germany for example has just passed legislation aimed at curbing match fixing and betting fraud. Germany’s lower house of parliament voted to step up regulations making it a crime to conspire to corrupt sporting events. Players, coaches, referees and others involved in organized sports now face up to three years in prison if caught fixing matches. More serious situations subject to the discretion court perpetrators could face as many as seven years in prison.
The German Justice Minister Heiko Maas, commented in a statement, “Because other measures have not worked, we have to confront such methods with the instruments available through criminal law. In this way we will ensure that sports stand only for that which makes them so special; integrity and fair competition.”
German Football League president Reinhard Raubal commented, “This law is an important building block in efforts to protect the integrity of sports.” adding, “Football too will continue to do everything it can to combat betting fraud and match fixing.”