EU Bookmakers Join Forces with IOC to Fight Corruption10th November 2009 8:43 am GMT
The European Sports Security Association (ESSA), the bookmaker funded sports integrity watchdog, has entered into a cooperation agreement with the Olympic Committee's recently established International Sport Monitoring GmbH (ISM), which will see the two organisations work together to monitor betting patterns and combat corruption ahead of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games and the 2012 London Olympics.
Under the terms of the agreement, ISM will utilise ESSA's Early Warning System in order to monitor betting on Olympic events and report any suspicious betting behaviour that may reflect untoward influences on Olympic competitions.
"I am delighted that ESSA will be working with the ISM," said Khalid Ali, the Secretary General of ESSA. "The Olympics are the most prestigious sports competition in the world, therefore it is vitally important that the betting industry works hand in hand with the IOC to keep its competitions clean and free from potential event manipulation."
Any suspicious or irregular betting activities will be reported to the IOC which will prosecute the case following the rules and regulations of the Olympic Charter.
"ESSA's early warning system has an excellent reputation. Their evidence based approach to irregular betting patterns helps us in our analysis to find out if something is definitely wrong with an event," said Detlev Zenglein, International Sport Monitoring's CEO.
"This is important so as not to set off any false alarms and thereby safeguard the reputation of both the event and the players involved. Therefore we are very pleased that they will work with us in order to protect the integrity of the Olympic Games."
The ESSA was established in 2005 by the leading online sports book operators in Europe to monitor any irregular betting patterns or possible insider betting from within each sport. Members include bwin, PartyGaming, Sportingbet, Unibet, BetClick and bet-at-home, among others.
The ESSA also announced that it has signed MoU's with both Major League Soccer (MLS) and the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA), adding to the association's information sharing protocols which are in place with FIFA, UEFA, FA, WTA, ATP and numerous other sports bodies.