International sports bodies discuss online betting and match fixing with EU decision – makers

The EPFL, represented by its CEO, Emanuel Macedo de Medeiros, joined a delegation of over 20 sport right owners representatives who met with key European decision-makers in Brussels to call for much stronger protection of the integrity of sport and a fair financial return from sports betting to be incorporated in an influential European Parliament Report by Christel Schaldemose MEP, on the integrity of online gambling in the European Union.

Senior representatives from the English Premier League, the French Professional Football League, the German Bundesliga, the Danish Divisionsforeningen and the Swedish Foreningen Elitfotboll were also present in Brussels during the meeting, together with our members of the Sports Rights Owners Coalition (SROC).

Online sports betting is a phenomenon which has exploded across the EU in the last 5 years, with the rapid growth in multiple new betting products and the possibility to bet on losing outcomes.  The increase in irregular betting activities represents a major cross-border threat for sports bodies, public authorities and for the European consumer.

SROC members today called on the European Parliament, Member States and the Commission to address these challenges and to take this agenda forward through proactive dialogue with all relevant stakeholders.

In line with this initiative, the EPFL had already voiced the same concerns during the European Sport Forum, organised by the European Commission in Biarritz, last week. On that occasion, Emanuel Macedo de Medeiros stated: “The EPFL calls for enhanced cooperation between Sport and the European Union in areas where public policy is effectively and urgently needed. We call for firmer action and specific legislation to regulate sports betting within the EU, preserving sports bodies’intellectual property rights and allowing Sport to protect the integrity of its competitions.”

SROC emphasised that the recognition of a clear ?competition organiser’s right? would be a very positive development for sport, and fully support French sports organisations in their campaign at national level to promote sport’s integrity and secure a fair financial return for competition organisers. France, currently holder of the EU Presidency, is in the process of reforming its national betting regulation.

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