ESSA chairman praises IOC over integrity recommendations

ESSA chairman praises IOC over integrity recommendationsMike O’Kane, chairman of the European Sports Security Association (ESSA), has spoken out in support of a number of betting integrity recommendations put forward by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

Designed to build on the success of previous measures agreed at previous meetings, the IOC announced its new proposals at this week’s International Forum for Sports Integrity (IFSI) in Lausanne, Switzerland.

The latest series of wide-ranging recommendations have been drawn up in partnership with various key stakeholders, such as global sports betting integrity body ESSA.

The new recommendations include extending the reach of athlete education, creating national integrity platforms and developing a coordinated approach on the exchange of information and intelligence.

The IOC has also recommended its Integrity Betting Intelligence System (IBIS) be consolidated, encouraged all governments to sign the Council of Europe’s Convention on competition manipulation as well as setting minimum criminal standards for match-fixing.

Having been heavily involved in the process behind the new recommendations, O’Kane praised the IOC’s approach to betting integrity and said the proposals could help improve both the professional sports and gambling industries.

“These measures are an important milestone in the drive by sporting bodies and the regulated betting industry to keep sport clean and protect consumers, regulated betting operators and athletes from unscrupulous activities,” O’Kane said.

“They underline the breadth and depth of international support among stakeholders for the IOC’s initiatives in promoting sporting integrity and for joint action to combat match-fixing and other fraudulent activities.

“Education, information exchange and partnership building have long been core components of ESSA’s strategy and it is important that these remain the focus.

“Credit should go to the IOC for continuing to include all responsible stakeholders in its integrity discussions as the best and only way to be effective.

“It is vital that we continue to build on this initiative and retain an inclusive, open and transparent evidence-based discussion.

“As responsible, regulated betting operators we want to share data on match-fixing and all countries should ratify the Council of Europe Convention, which will allow operators to share confidential data in a protected environment with established national platforms.”

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