Consumer protection within the Gaming market environment is about ensuring the integrity of operations and dealing with any attempts for fraud or other criminal activities which have serious consequences for the business by compromising the Public trust.
Consumer Protection is part of our Corporate Responsibility strategy and we work hard to maintain the public trust by protecting and ensuring the integrity of our games, systems, and operations. To this end, we have developed the appropriate strategies to ensure that our players are protected in a credible, transparent and ethical environment. Moreover, we value and require ethical behavior by our employees and partners in our gaming operations around the world.
In Sports Betting, INTRALOT’s core area of expertise, we are a vital part of a global endeavour to preserve and protect the integrity of Sports. In this effort, we have built the necessary know-how and systems to fight any attempts for fraud or match-fixing and money-laundering. In addition we cooperate with credible organisations in order to protect the integrity of Sports:
•Agreement with the International Olympic Committee & International Sports Monitoring
Betting Company, a subsidiary of INTRALOT Group, has signed a cooperation agreement with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Sports Monitoring (ISM) showing its commitment to actively participate in initiatives that aim to protect and maintain the integrity of sports. Betting Company will provide ISM and IOC with betting related information to assist ISM to monitor betting activities related to the Olympic Games and to assist the IOC to act in case of suspicious betting activities on the Games. The company’s involvement in the Permanent Global Sports Betting Monitoring System of IOC is necessary, contributing to the early detection and prevention of any attempted match-fixing.
•Agreement with FIFA’s Early Warning System
Our Group has signed a cooperation agreement with FIFA's subsidiary, Early Warning System GmbH (EWS), for protecting the integrity of football. Through the agreement, we have become a member of FIFA's global network and will promptly inform EWS on betting patterns which could indicate possible manipulation of football matches or other sport events, from jurisdictions where the company offers its services. Any information received from our operations shall undergo scrutiny by EWS, which will also inform US on which events are under its surveillance.
•Protecting the transparency of the Turkish Championship
Through our Inteltek subsidiary we support Spor Toto, Turkey's National Sports Lottery, and the Turkish Football Federation in protecting the transparency of the Turkish Football Championship. In this effort we will inform Spor Toto in presence of unusual betting activity, in order to alert the Federation to take actions to prevent possible cases of distorted match results.
FaceIt and ECS announced Wednesday a partnership with Genius Sports, a company that specializes in sports data technology, distribution and commercialization.
Genius Sports offers a variety of services that work with sports data, including analyzing live statistics, competition management and integrity services. Its approach includes working with the gambling industry and sharing data to analyze patterns that occur in betting. ECS’ partnership will be a step toward monitoring and regulating betting patterns for its Counter-Strike league in attempt to protect the integrity of its league.
“You need data to be able to quantify what’s happening in real time,” Genius Sports’ head of esports Moritz Maurer said Tuesday during a press event. “If you put this together, you can see patterns where things don’t look right, where some performance drops that correlated with spikes in wager activity in some markets. This is something we look into. And that doesn’t necessarily mean there’s something wrong with it, but that is the kind of trigger (we monitor).”
Maurer compared esports to traditional sports in terms of betting, in the sense that an unregulated market can affect the integrity of games. Gambling in Counter-Strike has become a large topic of conversation between the skins gambling saga last summer and a permanent match fixing ban former iBuyPower players before that. Richard Lewis recently revealed evidence of potential match fixing in the semipro scene.
“When (the unregulated market) exists, the sport body has no control and no access to info,” Maurer said. “No visibility, no formal integration or relationship whatsoever with betting institutions. They’re in a weaker position than if they have regulated structure. So what we do at Genius with ECS is the same with hundreds other sports partners. We provide a structure to provide a direct engagement with regulated sports books.”
FaceIt co-founder Michele Attisani said the partnership will help monitor and maintain integrity in the league. Genius Sports already works with well-established traditional sports entities like the English Premier League and International Basketball Federation (FIBA).
The partnership also includes an educational seminar for teams and players about the potentially dubious situations they could find themselves in regarding gambling.
“The main thing is building awareness,” Maurer said. “In other sports, you have athletes who sometimes don’t necessarily understand exactly what the rules and regulations are in their code of conduct. If they don’t know that passing one type of information to an outside person who’s sort of mining them for information about an event coming up. ‘How’s the training been going?’”
“Once they give that information, they place their bets. They come back. ‘Here’s your money. Thanks for all the information.’ And (the players) realize they’ve been duped. Those sorts of instances are commonplace in sports. The first sort of line of defense is with the players. Educating them so they understand what they can and can’t do, and what people’s agendas might be.”
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Restoring Integrity to Sports & Betting: An Overview of the MiGS Panel
In recent months, a number of high profile match fixing and corruption scandals have shaken the sports industry. These controversies have cast a harsh spotlight on the integrity of gaming and betting. A discussion panel titled “Sport and Betting: Working as One Team to Safeguard Mutual Survival” at the upcoming Malta iGaming Seminar (MiGS) is aimed at developing solutions to restore consumer confidence. This session will put a laser focus on ways gaming operators and sports’ governing bodies can work together in this restoration effort. The panel will bring together perspectives from operators, players, the International Olympic Committee, the Malta Gaming Authority and the Malta Football Association to provide the audience with an unparalleled look into the issues from all the necessary angles.
The seventh annual MiGS conference over 16-19 November at the Corinthia Hotel in St. George’s Bay, Malta will tackle the relevant yet thorny issue. The session will be moderated by Lee Richardson, whose 10+ years experience includes senior roles with totalbet.com, Coral-Eurobet plc, Chartwell Games and Boylesports and is currently CEO of GamingEconomics.com. His depth of knowledge across a broad spectrum of the iGaming industry brings unique perspective to the recent controversies. Mr. Richardson underscores the significance of the issue by saying, “This important topic continues to attract headlines around the world. Last year, the MiGS delegates were both enthralled and appalled, by the story of match fixing in football delivered by Declan Hill. Since then, we’ve had high profile match fixing cases in England, Italy and Spain, plus a heavily criticised Federbet Report into the issue as well as the ongoing and far reaching FIFA scandal, which alleges systemic corruption at the very heart of the sport”.
Franz Tabone, the Malta Football Association’s Integrity Officer will also participate in the session as a panelist. Mr. Tabone’s main focus in his role as Integrity Officer is safeguarding the sport itself. Mr. Tabone commented, “The sweeping statements made lately by Federbet about Maltese football do not have a solid enough base to prove outright match fixing or who the perpetrators might be. At the same time, we acknowledge that local football is tainted and needs a concerted approach by all stakeholders and not criticism to safeguard the integrity of the sport”.
To share a law enforcement perspective, Chief Investigations and Enforcement Officer for the Malta Gaming Authority, Dominic Micallef, will also appear on the Sport and Betting panel. Mr. Micallef balances the panel with his insider knowledge of the patterns and evidence available to prosecute those with culpability in fixing matches.
Dr. Birgit Bosch, COO at Interwetten Gaming Ltd and Board Member of Malta Remote Gaming Council (MRGC), will bring an operator’s perspective to the panel. Dr. Bosch’s responsibilities include reviewing European markets’ licensing and compliance with the standards of the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA). To round out the panel’s perspectives, John Barnes covers the view from the field as a former player with Liverpool, manager of Celtic and current ESPN and SuperSport commentator.
Mr. Richardson points out that football isn’t the only sport whose integrity is being questioned. “In its latest Integrity Report, ESSA reported that tennis attracted the highest share of suspicious alerts in 2015 to date. All of this clearly shows a worrying trend and, across Europe, politicians are demanding action, and the strengthening of laws to combat this crime”.
To broaden the discussion across global sports, panelist Friedrich Martens joins the session as Head of Integrity Betting Intelligence System in the Ethics and Compliance Office of the International Olympic Committee.
MiGS delegates from any gaming sector will benefit from this discussion. Mr. Richardson boils it down as a must-attend by commenting, “I believe every sports governing authority, and their participants, need to work in collaboration with the sports-betting industry to help identify long-term, sustainable solutions. This is critical if we’re to retain the trust of the sports betting customer. I think our panel at MiGs can be a useful contribution to that initiative.”
EPFL welcomes French Government and European Parliament initiatives and call on other EU Member States and the European Commission to take similar action.
The Association of European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL) welcomed the adoption, by the European Parliament, yesterday, of the Report on “Integrity of Online Gambling” originally presented by the Danish MEP Christel Schaldemose (also known as the ‘s chaldemose Reportï¿½).
In particular, the Schaldemose Report acknowledges that “sports bets are a form of commercial exploitation of sporting competitions” and explicitly recommends that “Member States protect sporting competitions from any unauthorized commercial use, notably by recognition of a sport organiser right”, and put in place “arrangements to ensure fair financial returns for the benefit of all levels of professional and amateur sport”.
The European Parliament’s Report represents an outstanding step forward to enable port bodies to protect the integrity of its competitions and further develop the Leagues’ business model, concerns which have always been placed very high in EPFL’s agenda.
On a similar initiative, the French Government presented last Thursday, 05 March 2009, a draft Bill on online gambling and betting, which was also welcomed by the EPFL. This draft bill, which was awaited with great expectation, proposes strong measures to protect the integrity of sports competition and ensures a fair financial return to sport from betting activities. The main provisions of this draft bill are:
On the occasion, Frédéric Thiriez, President of the French Professional Football League and Deputy Chairman of the EPFL, stated: “By recognising the rights owned by the competition organisers, this draft bill respects the moral and financial interests that French Football defends together with the other EPFL member Leagues and the whole European sport movement.”
The EPFL believes that the unlawful use of sports betting affects football’s positive image and credibility, driving away fans, sponsors, media and investors, and undermines its own economic viability. “As the common voice of the European Leagues, the EPFL is strongly committed to use all its power and influence to ensure that the integrity of our Leagues’ competitions is fully preserved and guarantee a fair financial return to all levels of the sport”, assured the EPFL’s CEO Emanuel Macedo de Medeiros, urging the other EU Member States and the European Commission to follow the footsteps of the French Government and the European Parliament.
The licensed betting industry is (i) a willing ally in the fight against corruption; and (ii) an important commercial partner for the sporting sector. The RGA is therefore committed to:
Protecting the integrity of sport
Licensed and regulated betting
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