EPFL leads the way on Sports Betting Regulation in Europe

EPFL General Assembly

The Association of European Professional Football leagues (EPFL) has approved three innovative and far-reaching impact initiatives in the field of sports betting regulation:

  • The EPFL Football Betting Manifesto;
  • The EPFL Code of Conduct on Sports Betting Integrity; and
  • The EPFL Betting Operators Standards

In pursuance of the “EPFL Declaration of Principles on The Future of Professional Football in Europe” adopted on 16 October 2008 and the EPFL Resolution on Sports Betting Integrity of 7 October 2010, the EPFL Football Betting Manifesto indicates the direction the EPFL and its Member Leagues are taking with regard to a rolling programme of integrity protection developments and the parallel creation of mechanisms that allow a fair financial return to football.

Linked to such Manifesto, the Association’s supreme body has also approved the EPFL Code of Conduct aimed to safeguard and to further protect the integrity of the Leagues’ competitions and providing a guidance on the fight against unlawful betting and match-fixing.  “These initiatives represent the EPFL’s commitment of preventing fraudulent betting practices in football and to support and strengthen the Leagues’ fight to protect the integrity of their competitions and maintain the overall credibility of the game“, stated Emanuel Macedo de Medeiros, CEO of the EPFL and chairman of the EPFL Task Force on Football Betting, right after the General Assembly. The EPFL Code establishes minimum standards for League operation, including rules for participants of their competitions (such as players, coaches, managers, directors, agents and in general any person employed by, representing or otherwise affiliated to the EPFL member Leagues) and their own individual betting involvement. 

In conjunction with the vision of the EPFL Football Betting Manifesto and the commitments of the Code of Conduct on Sports Betting Integrity, the EPFL General Assembly has finally approved the EPFL Betting Operators Standards, for the co-operation between Leagues and betting companies, thus assisting the Leagues to prevent and fight against offences committed by fraudsters and/or participants.

“We trust that both the EU institutions and national Government can follow the EPFL’s example. We welcome all political statements acknowledging the concerns we have been voicing for years, but now we want action. The Leagues are doing their job. Now law-makers must now do theirs”, demanded Emanuel Macedo de Medeiros. 

EPFL announces further reforms

The EPFL is already preparing an additional set of measures in this field. Among other initiatives, the EPFL intends to assess and provide guidance on commercial relationships between its member Leagues, participants in their competitions and betting companies. Guidance will also be provided on commercial sponsorship and betting partner relationships between Leagues/ clubs and betting operators.

The EPFL will also organise a list of “Designated Persons” for each member League. These League personnel will be the first contact for the betting industry, in the event they have information to pass to the League, and will take appropriate action when they suspect there has been an offence to the integrity of the game.

Furthermore, the EPFL is concerned at the depth and range of bets being offered by betting companies. The EPFL therefore intends to review this matter and lobby Governments and betting companies on what can be considered fair betting types and approve a list of authorised type of bets and competitions on which bets can be offered.

The EPFL is also investigating the various warning systems with a view of recommending a system for its Leagues and will engage in seeking memorandums of understanding with betting trade associations and individual betting companies with a view of establishing information exchange principles on behalf of the 30 member Leagues.

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