INTERPOL Integrity in Sport Bi-Weekly Bulletin - 11 June 2018 - 25 June 2018

As part of an international investigation into match fixing in tennis, Belgian prosecutors have charged a sixth person with corruption, money laundering and other crimes. The first five accused were among 13 people who were detained in Belgium following a series of simultaneous raids in multiple countries on June 5. In Spain, the police has made again a large number of arrests over allegations of match fixing in Spanish football, and link to arrests earlier this year on charges of membership of an illegal betting syndicate.

In cricket, the ICC launched an investigation into revelations by a Pakistani batsman, claiming bookmakers approached him on several occasions for alleged corrupt activities.

In terms of sanctions, Albanian club KS Skenderbeu has failed in its bid at CAS to have its 10-year ban from European competition overturned. In Tennis, two Argentinian tennis players have been suspended for committing breaches and match-fixing offences under the Tennis Anti-Corruption Program. One player was sanctioned for failing to report corrupt approaches, while the second sanction related to fixing the outcome of a match at an ATP Challenger. In cricket, the ICC provisionally suspended and charged a Zimbabwe official with three counts of breaching its anti-corruption code.

An investigative documentary on football in Ghana has led a court to suspend the country’s football association over a bribery scandal. Negotiations between the sports and youth minister of Ghana, Ghana football representatives and FIFA on the matter are ongoing.

In a call for specific match-fixing legislation, police officers and lawyers in India have claimed that the lack of any specific law to on spot fixing and betting in cricket, has led to a low rate of conviction.

In Vietnam, the National Assembly approved a new law that allows locals to bet on soccer matches held overseas, and will take effect next year.

Also in Asia, football crazy countries have become illegal betting hotspots due to a lack of legal gambling means. Bettors use cryptocurrencies to avoid detection by authorities and use messaging and social networking platforms like WeChat to place bets. Authorities face a hard time in curbing activities that have now gone digital.

In terms of cooperation and partnership, the Champions Hockey League (CHL), the premier European ice hockey competition, brings in Sportradar for integrity insight, while the Global Lottery Monitoring System (GLMS) and the Council of Europe have signed an informal memorandum of understanding on June 22 regarding the cooperation between GLMS and the Group of Copenhagen (GoC), the network of national platforms.

In Italy, Roma’s long-delayed plans to build a new stadium hit another major obstacle Wednesday when nine people were arrested for alleged corruption.

Finally, UNODC have a job offer for a consultant <https://app.nimble.com/api/v1/messages/tracking/click/51189a01e3b7c848c5c626dd/519fd147b8e4a17e77df32f8/5b30e9572aada61daec372c7/> to assist in the drafting of UNODC-IOC Whistleblowing Guidelines in sports.

We welcome submissions on best practices, major developments, new trends and relevant articles for publication in the bulletin. We also welcome hard copies of publications that your Organization is producing in the field of sports corruption at the below address.

The next bi-weekly bulletin will be circulated on Monday, 9 July 2018.

INVESTIGATIONS

Belgium

6th Armenian charged in Belgium over tennis match-fixing

Brussels - A sixth Armenian has been charged in Belgium with corruption, money laundering and other crimes as part of an international investigation into match-fixing in tennis, Belgian prosecutors said Thursday.

The sixth man was arrested on a warrant issued on Wednesday, a week after the five others, the federal prosecutor's office said.

"He is charged with corruption, money laundering, forgery, membership of a criminal organisation and violations of the legislation about gambling," it said in a statement.

Unlike the five others, the Armenian national identified as 32-year-old Karen H. received an additional charge of gambling violations.

The first five accused were among 13 people who were detained in Belgium on June 5 during a series of simultaneous raids also carried out in the United States, Germany, France, Bulgaria, Slovakia and the Netherlands. Eight of the 13 detainees were released.

No details have emerged from the other raids which were part of an international probe into an Armenian-Belgian criminal network suspected of bribing players to throw games over the last four years.

Belgian prosecutors said the matches were on the low-level Futures and Challenger circuits, away from the gaze of television coverage and where meagre prize money leaves players susceptible to backhanders.

Prosecutors say the probe showed the criminal network worked to bribe professional tennis players to fix matches and fraudulently boost the winnings of bettors who knew.

Belgian authorities, who were first alerted to suspicious betting activity in 2015, said the criminal network "would not shrink from violence."

It also used its contacts to move large sums of money abroad anonymously, they added.

In April, the Independent Review of Integrity in Tennis, the London-based global corruption watchdog, warned that the lower levels of the sport were engulfed in betting-related corruption.

The report said the problems stemmed from too many players in the likes of the Futures and Challenger circuits not earning enough to make a living, coupled with the rise of online betting.

Source: 14 June 2018, Sport24 Tennis

https://www.sport24.co.za/Tennis/ATPTour/6th-armenian-charged-in-belgium-over-tennis-match-fixing-20180614

Pakistan

ICC investigates Umar Akmal’s claim of being approached by bookies

Pakistan’s out-of-favour batsman Umar Akmal may find himself in hot water as he claimed that he was approached by bookmakers on several occasions for alleged corrupt activities.

Akmal, 28, said in a TV interview aired on Sunday evening that he was offered $200,000 by fixers to leave two deliveries in one of the matches. He also claimed that he was offered money to skip matches against India.

I was once offered $200,000 for leaving two deliveries. I was also offered to skip matches against India.” Akmal said in the interview.

Pakistani batsman also said that he was approached during ICC World Cup, including the 2015 edition played in Australia and New Zealand.

His revelation has raised questions if the batsman had reported about this to anti-corruption officials. This correspondent spoke to multiple officials involved with the team during last few years and none had info if the batsman had reported the approach to relevant officials.

According to ICC anti-corruption code 2.4.4 and 2.4.5, players are bound to report all the corrupt approaches made to them during any event and failure of doing so carry a minimum punishment of five years.

The International Cricket Council has launched an investigation into the matter and has expressed desire to speak to Umar Akmal.

The ICC is aware of a recent interview given by Umar Akmal. Whilst we not that there is no suggestion that any fix actually took place, the ICC is reliant on players to report any corrupt approaches in timely manner,” said an ICC spokesman.

We are taking Akmal’s comments very seriously. We have launched an investigation and wish to speak to Mr Akmal as matter of urgency,” the spokesman added.

Meanwhile, the Pakistan Cricket Board's (Anti Corruption Unit) has served a notice to Akmal and summoned him to appear before it on June 27.

Source: 24 June 2018, Geo TV

https://www.geo.tv/latest/200510-icc-launches-investigation-as-umar-akmal-claimed-being-approached-by-bookies-on-multiple-occasion

Spain

Police Arrest Almeria Captain Morcillo For Match-Fixing

Almeria captain Jorge Morcillo has been arrested on match-fixing charges as part of Operation Cortes, it has been confirmed, according to reports by Football.espana.net.

El Confidencial report Morcillo was arrested as he was about to board a plane to Italy and his arrest relate to charges of the match between the Andalusian club and Gimnastic, which ended 1-1, on 22nd January.

Federbet are said to have begun suspicions due to a high volume of betting being placed on the result of the match ahead of its kick-off, particularly on the clash ending 1-1.

Morcillo did not play in the match but he is alleged to have convinced several of those who did start the game in relation to the bets.

Source: Agency Report, 15 June 2018, Independent

Football

https://independent.ng/police-arrest-almeria-captain-morcillo-for-match-fixing/

Spain

Soccer - More match-fixing arrests in Spain - reports

MADRID,(Reuters) - At least 20 people have been arrested by Spanish police over allegations of match-fixing in football, Spanish newspapers El Confidencial and El Pais reported on Tuesday.

In February, 31 people were detained in Spain on charges of being part of an illegal Chinese betting syndicate.

The latest match-fixing allegations relate to Spain’s women’s top flight and men’s Tercerca Division (fourt tier). Initial court hearings are due to take place on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The arrests were carried out in the autonomous regions of Andalusia and Extremadura, the papers said.

Spanish soccer authorities were not immediately available for comment.

Source: Reporting by Joseph Cassinelli, editing by Ed Osmond, 12 June 2018, Reuters

Football

https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-soccer-spain-matchfixing/soccer-more-match-fixing-arrests-in-spain-reports-idUKKBN1J81E5

SENTENCES/SANCTIONS

Albania

Match-fixing: Skenderbeu lose first round of CAS appeal to have European ban stayed

June 15 – Albanian club KS Skenderbeu has failed in its bid at CAS to have its ban from European competition stayed. The club is appealing a 10-year European ban and €1 million fine imposed by UEFA for matchfixing.

The club will now have to wait for the full Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) appeals process to complete before it will know if it can re-enter UEFA club competitions.

The Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body of UEFA on March 29 found KS Skënderbeu guilty of fixing more than 50 matches and issued a 10-year ban and fine. Skenderbeu first appealed the decision to UEFA’s own Appeals Body and lost, before going to CAS, also asking for the ban to be postponed while the full CAS appeal was on-going.

The CAS decision means Skenderbeu will miss the deadline for entry to European competition next season.

CAS said that “the arbitration procedure is on-going with the exchange of written submissions. A hearing date has not been fixed yet.

Skenderbeu president Ardjan Takaj has said that if their appeal at CAS fails, they will take the case to the Swiss federal court.

The Skenderbeu case has become a landmark decision in the battle against match-fixing as the ban is predominantly based on information from its betting fraud detection system (BFDS) which identified 53 matches involving Skenderbeu – including in European club competitions – which allegedly manipulated for betting gain between November 2010 and April 2016.

At appeal CAS accepted the BFDS system as reliable evidence of matches having been fixed. In particular the case focused on four games: two from the 2015-16 Champions League qualifying rounds and two from that season’s Europa League group phase. UEFA, after the first ban on Skenderbeu, issued a report adding fresh evidence from a panel of coaches as well as using an external company to reconfirm its findings.

The report spoke of “manipulation attempts to obtain criminal betting profits on a stunning global scale” and the club having “no respect for the integrity of the game”.

Skenderbeu have repeatedly denied the allegations saying there is no evidence of organised crime and that they will contest all accusations.

Source: Paul Nicholson, 15 June 2018, Inside World Football

Football

https://www.insideworldfootball.com/2018/06/15/matchfixing-skenderbeu-lose-first-round-cas-appeal-european-ban-stayed/

Argentina

Federico Coria suspended and fined for tennis corruption offences

Argentinian tennis player Federico Coria has been suspended for eight (8) months and fined $10,000 for committing breaches of the Tennis Anti-Corruption Program.

Six (6) months of the period of ineligibility has been suspended on condition that he commits no further offences. Half of the fine ($5,000) is also suspended on the same terms.

On 25th May this year independent Anti-corruption Hearing Officer (AHO) Jane Mulcahy QC ruled that Mr Coria had failed to report corrupt approaches made to him in July and August 2015.

He also committed a "technical" breach of failing to co-operate with a TIU investigation.

The suspension handed down by AHO Mulcahy is effective from 13th June and means that the player is not allowed to compete in, or attend, any sanctioned events organised or recognised by the governing bodies of the sport. He will be eligible to resume playing professional tennis from 12th August, assuming no further offences are committed.

The Tennis Integrity Unit is an initiative of the Grand Slam Board, the International Tennis Federation, the ATP and the WTA, who are jointly committed to a zero tolerance approach to corruption in tennis.

Source: 14 June 2018, Tennis Integrity Unit

Tennis

https://www.tennisintegrityunit.com/media-releases/independent-disciplinary-hearing-finds-federico-coria-guilty-tennis-corruption-offences

Argentina

Nicolas Kicker Suspended and Fined for Tennis Match-Fixing Offences

Argentinian tennis player Nicolas Kicker has been suspended for six (6) years and fined $25,000 for committing match-fixing offences under the Tennis Anti-Corruption Program (Program).

Half of the period of ineligibility (three years) is suspended on the basis that Mr Kicker commits no further breaches of the Program.

On May 23rd this year independent Anti-Corruption Hearing Officer (AHO) Jane Mulcahy QC ruled that Mr Kicker, 25, was guilty of contriving the outcome of a match at the ATP Challenger tournament in Padova, Italy, in June 2015 and a match at the ATP Challenger tournament in Baranquilla, Colombia, in September 2015.

He was also found guilty of failing to fully co-operate with a Tennis Integrity Unit investigation into the allegations made against him.

The suspension handed down today by AHO Mulcahy has been backdated to apply from 24th May, the date he was excluded from playing tennis. As a consequence he is not allowed to compete in, or attend, any sanctioned events organised or recognised by the governing bodies of the sport for the next three years.

The Tennis Integrity Unit is an initiative of the Grand Slam Board, the International Tennis Federation, the ATP and the WTA, who are jointly committed to a zero tolerance approach to corruption in tennis.

Source: 19 June 2018, Tennis Integrity Unit

Tennis

https://www.tennisintegrityunit.com/media-releases/nicolas-kicker-found-guilty-match-fixing-offences-independent-anti-corruption-hearing-officer

Ghana

Ghana’s football association suspended by court

A court in Ghana has suspended the country’s football association which now paves way for its dissolution. The court order on Tuesday follows an earlier announcement last week by the government that it wants to dissolve the football association over bribery scandal.

A documentary on the football association by investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas was screened to thousands of Ghanaians last week. The documentary details how football officials take bribe to influence matches. The under cover work by the journalist contains secret filming that shocked soccer fans who have demanded reforms.

The High Court granted the government’s request after it’s attorney general Gloria Akuffo filed a motion in court to suspend the Association (GFA) and its officials.

GFA has undermined its existence and therefore in the interest of protecting the national interests, we say the attorney general owes the duty to take urgent measures to stop this,” Akuffo told journalists in Accra.

He said “The GFA has now become an instrument for self-aggrandisement by people who run it to make themselves rich.

Extent of corruption

Over 70 professional referees and officials were caught on tape receiving bribes to fix games and influence player selections. The President of the association, Kwesi Nyantakyi is captured on tape negotiating a dubious sponsorship deal while demanding $15 million as bribe.

Why the high Interest

For years allegations of corruption made were without evidence making it difficult to enforce reforms. The involvement of prominent personalities in alleged corrupt acts including the president of the Ghana Football Association, Kwesi Nyantakyi is also a factor. He is captured in some aspects of the documentary taking money from potential investors. Nyantakyi used the name of Ghana’s President, Nana Akufo Addo in some instances to take money from the investors.

FIFA BAN

FIFA in a statement said last week that “The chairperson of the adjudicatory chamber of the Ethics Committee has provisionally banned the President of the Ghana Football Association (GFA) and FIFA Council member, Mr Kwesi Nyantakyi, for a duration of 90 days.

The duration of the ban may be extended for an additional period not exceeding 45 days. During this time, Mr Nyantakyi is banned from all football activities at both national and international level (administrative, sports or any other). The ban comes into force immediately,” the statement added.

The statement went on further to say that “The decision was taken upon the request of the chairperson of the investigatory chamber of the Ethics Committee”.

This is as a result of the initiation of “formal investigation proceedings into Mr Nyantakyi, pursuant to art. 83 par. 1 and art. 84 par. 2 of the FIFA Code of Ethics” the statement ended saying.

Anas Aremeyaw Anas

Anas Aremeyaw Anas uses painstaking and life risking methods in unearthing corruption in the public sector in Ghana and Africa. He usually disguises himself making it difficult for corrupt persons to identify him, a method that some of his critics consider inappropriate.

Source: Isaac Kaledzi, 12 June 2018, Africa Feeds

Football

https://africafeeds.com/2018/06/12/ghanas-football-association-suspended-by-court/

Ghana

FIFA and GOG Agreement after meeting

The Government of Ghana, led by Mr. Isaac Asiamah, Minister for Youth and Sports and the Federation of International Football Association (FIFA), on Friday, June 22, held a meeting to discuss the way forward for the Ghana Football Association (GFA).

The meeting also had in attendance from FIFA, Mr Veron Mosengo Omba, FIFA's new Director of Development for Africa and the Caribbean, Mr. Hamidu Zibrela - President of Niger Football Federation and Mr Solomon Modegbe.

From the deliberations, it was agreed that:

  1. Both FIFA and the Ghanaian government have a zero tolerance for corruption, criminality and all other forms of illegality.

  1. The government of Ghana has the right to enforce its national laws against criminal conduct and illegality.

  1. FIFA in consultation with the Ghanaian government will put in place interim measures to allow for the continuation of football in Ghana.

  1. The Ghana government delegation will continue discussions with FIFA in Zurich, Switzerland for the purpose of finalizing interim arrangements regarding football in Ghana.

Source: 25 June 2018, Ghanaweb

Football

https://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/FIFA-GOG-Agreement-after-meeting-663085

Zimbabwe

ICC provisionally suspend Zimbabwe official Ikope

(Reuters) - Zimbabwe Cricket director Enock Ikope has been provisionally suspended by the International Cricket Council (ICC) and charged with three counts of breaching the organisation’s anti-corruption code, the governing body said on Monday.

Ikope, chairman of the Harare Metropolitan Cricket Association (HMCA) since 2015, is the second official from HMCA’s board to be penalised by the ICC after Rajan Nayer was banned from all cricket activities for 20 years in March.

Nayer, who was the treasurer and marketing director of HMCA, accepted charges relating to offering Zimbabwe captain Graeme Cremer $30,000 to fix an international match last year and was banned.

Ikope has been charged under ICC’s Article 2.4.6 and Article 2.4.7, which includes offences such as refusing to co-operate, delaying and obstruction of an investigation into possible corruption by the Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU).

It is unclear if Ikope’s charges stem from the same incident as Nayer’s.

Mr Ikope has 14 days from June 11, 2018 to respond to the charges. The ICC will not make any further comment in respect of these charges at this stage,” the ICC said in a statement.

Source: Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge, 11 June 2018, Reuters

Cricket

https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-cricket-corruption-zimbabwe/icc-provisionally-suspend-zimbabwe-official-ikope-idUKKBN1J71XI

LEGISLATION

India

Lack of law leads to poor Conviction in spot fixing

"There is a need to have a designated law to prevent such crimes."

Police officers and lawyers have claimed that the lack of any specific law to prosecute persons involved in spot fixing and betting in the world of cricket, has led to a low rate of conviction in such cases which have witnessed a rise in recent years.

A senior Delhi Police officer, who has investigated multiple cases of fixing and betting, told The Sunday Guardian: “In most of the cases of betting and spot fixing in cricket, the conviction rate is very low because we have to rely on laws from the Indian Penal Code (IPC) like cheating, conspiracy, forgery to prosecute persons involved in these cases, which makes the case weak; therefore, the case does not stand its merit in court.

The officer further said that as the number of betting cases has been increasing, there is an urgent need to have a designated law to prevent such kind of crimes or else this trend would keep increasing.

Recently, during the last season of the Indian Premier League (IPL), a betting scandal was unearthed by the Mumbai police and saw the alleged involvement of several celebrities. Even bookies from Kolkata and elsewhere, who were involved in betting and spot fixing of matches, were also caught during raids at several places.

The infamous IPL scandal had shocked the entire nation in 2013 with the Rajasthan Royals allegedly involved in spot fixing of matches and players like Sreesanth were booked by the Delhi Police for alleged fixing of matches. However, the trail court had let Sreesanth off after the Delhi Police failed to provide concrete evidence in this case.

Neeraj Kumar, former Police Commissioner of Delhi Police, who was heading the police force during the time of investigation into the spot fixing allegations against Rajasthan Royals, told The Sunday Guardian, “The lack of any law present in this case had weakened our case. In this case, we even tried to invoke MCOCA (Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act) which involves organised crime apart from cases of cheating and fraud, yet the judge did not seem to be convinced and had relieved all the accused due to absence of any law that deals with betting.

Vikas Upadhaya, a lawyer practising in Supreme Court, said that unless there is a specific law to prosecute offenders involved in crimes like betting and spot fixing, these crime cannot be controlled. “In such cases, the police tries to borrow laws from the IPC or other such criminal laws passed by different states. The police also invokes cases of cheating, fraud and conspiracy. But when it comes to proving such sections in court, it becomes difficult because in such cases, it is problematic to prove who actually the individual involved in betting has cheated,” he said.

The Gambling Act is also a very toothless Act which calls for a minimum punishment of one month and a maximum punishment of six months with a fine of just Rs 200. Moreover, this Act is unclear about betting and spot fixing since it talks about assembly in a common place, but betting these days happens over the internet and telephone; so the very definition negates it being applied for modern day betting,” Upadhaya added.

Spot-fixing refers to illegal activity in a sport in which a specific aspect of a game, unrelated to the final result but upon which a betting market exists, is fixed in an attempt to ensure a certain result in a proposition bet. Examples include something as minor as timing a no ball or wide delivery in cricket. Betting, on the other hand, is the action of gambling money on the outcome of a game. The report of the Supreme Court appointed R.M. Lodha panel distinguished between the two, stating that: “There is a fundamental difference between betting and match or spot-fixing. The latter interferes with the integrity of the game and attempts to change the course of the match. On the other hand, betting is a general malaise indulged by different sections of society.

Speaking to this newspaper, former cricketer and member of Parliament Kirti Azad told this correspondent, “I had always been vocal about invoking a serious law to curb the menace of fixing and betting in cricket. I am of the view that players involved in match fixing and betting in international matches should be charged with treason. At present, we do not have any law to deal with these cases of treachery. The laws are old and redundant whereas we have seen such new technological advancements. We should change the law or perhaps brings new laws according to the changing scenario.

Why does the BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) not ban players involved in such cases for life? What does the anti-corruption wing of BCCI do? Why doesn’t the BCCI hand over the case to the police as soon as they come to know of any such case?” questioned Azad.

Siddharth Srivastava, who is a partner with Link legal, a well-known law firm, said, “At present, India has no explicit laws prohibiting the said illegal and corrupt activities. In view of the legislative lacunae, persons are tried under Section 415 of the IPC which involves dishonesty or using fraudulent means, Section 409 meaning criminal breach of trust by public servant, or by banker, merchant or agent, Section 420 meaning cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property, and Section 120B involving punishment for criminal conspiracy. It is generally very difficult to get a conviction in cases of spot fixing and betting, since proving conspiracy, cheating, and criminal breach of trust by a public servant/agent in the case of players might prove to be too high a threshold to meet. Even if any case is proved, the tenure of punishment is very low.

Source: Dibyendu Mondal, 16 June 2018, The Sunday Guardian https://www.sundayguardianlive.com/news/lack-law-leads-poor-conviction-spot-fixing

Vietnam

Vietnam moves to allow sports betting as World Cup kicks off

HO CHI MINH CITY -- Vietnam's National Assembly on Thursday approved a new law that allows locals to bet on soccer matches held overseas, as the World Cup 2018 kicked off in Russia on the same day.

Sports betting, including soccer matches, has been deemed illegal for decades in the communist-led country, prompting many fans to place their wagers through international websites. The latest move to legalize betting is meant to prevent money from flowing out of the country. The illegal betting market in Vietnam is estimated to be worth billions of dollars each year. The police last year discovered several illicit soccer-betting rings and online gambling worth more than $300 million.

However, the new law will not come into effect until next year.

Since April, locals have been allowed to bet on soccer matches that are on a list announced by the sports authority. This includes the World Cup, Asian Games, Southeast Asian Games and matches without Vietnamese team participation. The permission is based on a January 2017 decree by the government allowing betting on some sports. One soccer betting operator will bid for the single license in the five-year pilot program.

But some local soccer gamblers in Ho Chi Minh City told the Nikkei Asian Review that there is not a single legal soccer betting site or agent available in the country, except some horse-racing agents. One of the inhibitors is that betting operators in Vietnam will be put under the strict observation and control of relevant authorities. Vietnam is willing to grant a license to a foreign company, like BookMaker, to enter the legal sports-betting business, should it meet the strict requirements.

Industry experts had expected that local operators of sports betting will apply for a license after the gambling law is approved by the National Assembly. The Ministry of Finance will be in charge of issuing licenses and only the Vietnamese currency, the dong, will be accepted for betting. The money collected from betting will be a good revenue source for the state budget and will help develop local sports, especially soccer, according to the Vietnam Football Federation, one of the business lobbies supporting the law.

Vietnam has been gradually relaxing gambling-related regulations for residents. In 2017, the government announced that it would allow locals to enter casinos located in the country, paving the way for casino investors to build new facilities. Plans call for the first citizens to be officially allowed to gamble in a casino in Phu Quoc from mid-July, following a three-year pilot program.

The Vietnamese are known for their love of gambling. According to estimates, they spend at least $800 million a year on gambling overseas, mainly in Macau, Singapore and Hong Kong. Statistics show the Vietnamese spent $13 billion on the lottery between 2011 and 2015, driving an average 12% gain in the annual revenue of lottery companies over that period. Lottery companies are all state-owned enterprises and are not on the list of companies slated for privatization.

As the country's coffers suffer from a revenue shortage, Hanoi is increasingly keen to seek untapped revenue sources to fill the deficit of $9 billion for fiscal 2018.

Source: 15 June 2018, Nikkei Asian Review

https://asia.nikkei.com/Politics/Vietnam-moves-to-allow-sports-betting-as-World-Cup-kicks-off

BETTING

Thailand

Illegal Betting Through Cryptocurrencies Becomes a Headache for Asian Authorities

Football crazy Asian countries like Thailand and Malaysia have become illegal betting hotspots due to a lack of legal gambling means. Bettors use cryptocurrencies to avoid detection by authorities and use messaging and social networking platforms like WeChat to place bets. Authorities face a hard time in curbing activities that have now gone digital.

As Russia becomes the battlefield for 32 teams to prove their dominance in football, illegal betting is surging in Asia. Bettors are using platforms like WeChat and WhatsApp to place wagers and cryptocurrencies to earn obscurely.

Several companies often licensed in the Philippines have popped up illegally in Malaysia and Thailand where people are gearing up to bet millions of dollars’ in illegal gambling. A lack of legal gambling avenues and tax avoidance are being cited as the reasons behind this surge.

A Long History of Illicit Betting

Asia accounts for 80% of illegal gambling in the industry, which has an estimated $500 billion global volume, according to Transparency International. A Bloomberg report quoted Switzerland-based data company in sports wagering, Sportsradar AG, which claimed that the $1.8 trillion are placed in betting wages worldwide every year.

During the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, law enforcement officers clamped down on several criminal gangs that operated sports betting rings worth more than $2.2 billion. Their operations were based in Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, Macau, Hong Kong, and China.

This year, these activities are expected to grow further, due to closer time zones as compared to Brazil in 2014. Macau, which the biggest gambling city in the world, is expecting more voluminous wagers this season.

The illegal gambling facilitated through companies with offshore licenses, a majority of which originate in the Philippines. These sites do not follow domestic regulations in most Asian jurisdictions. Authorities in the Philippines have tried to curb the industry, but the number of sites in operation has increased over the years.

Russian football was the victim of match-fixing by bookies in the 1990s and early 2000s. Smaller and lesser-known teams often played fixed matches, and big sharks in the market decided the result of the match beforehand.

Analysts expect the sports betting industry in Russia to generate $11.8 billion this year, 65% of which will be contributed by illegal online betting. The market is also expected to triple in size in the next few years.

The Cryptocurrency and Social Media Mix

Social media and messaging platforms like WeChat are used by bookmakers to facilitate illegal betting. Macau Police have cracked down on gambling rings that operate via these popular apps.

Hong Kong has, reportedly, poured in HK$30 billion into the World Cup. Senior Inspector Raymond Chau Man-hin, who is from the Organized Crime and Triad Bureau, believes that the authorities need to gather more advanced intelligence to crack these rings.

He explained: “Gamblers place bets by making WhatsApp calls or leaving a voice note on instant messaging. Some mobile messenger apps can even destroy messages. This makes our investigations difficult. It takes us more time and complicates steps to examine a device and uncover or secure digital evidence.

Many bookmakers are using digital currencies to evade detection by authorities and taxes. Several tiers of bookies are used to make the hierarchy more complicated and the masterminds more difficult to reach.

Source: Viraj Shah, 15 June 2018, Blokt.com

https://blokt.com/news/illegal-betting-through-cryptocurrencies-becomes-a-headache-for-asian-authorities

GOOD PRACTICES

Champions Hockey League (CHL)

Champions Hockey League brings in Sportradar for integrity insight

Champions Hockey League (CHL), the premier European ice hockey competition that pits top teams from the first-tier leagues of the continent against each other every year, has today signed a long-term partnership with Sportradar, the most credible integrity service provider in sport, to work together to safeguard the competition from manipulation and betting fraud.

Sportradar is already partnered with the International Ice Hockey Federation as well as the German Deutsche Eishockey Liga and the North American NHL and will be working closely with the CHL – delivering a combination of CAS-approved monitoring and detection services, its intelligence and investigation insights, as well as a series of education and prevention workshops. The 2018-9 season will find 32 teams from 13 countries try to unseat the current champions, Finland’s JYP Jyväskylä.

Our fans demand hard but fair competition and that cannot happen without integrity. As we set about finding the right partner to support us in this area, we were clear that we needed to work with most respected name in the field. The road led us to Sportradar and their Integrity Services. We are delighted to bring them into the CHL family and it gives us great comfort and confidence to know that they are on hand to help and advise”, added CHL CEO Martin Baumann.

Speaking about the tie up, Managing Director Integrity Services at Sportradar, Andreas Krannich said: “Creating the systems and tools to properly and credibly support any sport takes a lot of investment and expertise and we are humbled that the top rights owners in ice-hockey worldwide recognise and appreciate that. The CHL pitches the best in Europe against each other to crown the number one team on the continent; doing our bit to help protect this proud competition is a great honour and we thank CHL for their trust”.

About Champions Hockey League

The league is fully owned and operated by Champions Hockey League AG/Ltd which includes, as its shareholders, the 26 Founding Clubs, six national Founding Leagues and the International Ice Hockey Federation. The Founding National Leagues are: Austria, Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Sweden and Switzerland. The best teams from the Challenger Leagues (Belarus, Denmark, France, Great Britain, Norway, Poland and Slovakia) are extended Wild Cards. The 2018/19 season includes 32 teams from 13 leagues, comprising a total of 220 national championships between them. The CHL season culminates in a one-game Final showdown to be played on 5 February 2019 at the home venue of the team with the best accumulated Group Stage and Playoff record. A season total of 125 games will have been played by the time the European Trophy is lifted by the champions.

Source: 13 June 2018, Sportradar Ice Hockey

https://www.sportradar.com/news-archive/champions-hockey-league-brings-in-sportradar-for-integrity-insight/

Global

GLMS signs agreement with the CoE to contribute to Group of Copenhagen’s monitoring activities

The Global Lottery Monitoring System (GLMS) and the Council of Europe have signed on June 22 an informal memorandum of understanding regarding the cooperation between GLMS and the Group of Copenhagen (GoC), the network of national platform created by the Council of Europe, as per article 13 of the Convention on the Manipulation of Sport Competitions CETS 215.

The cooperation mainly concerns the contribution of GLMS to the experimental phase of the GoC’ LogBook. The LogBook has been created as part of the activities of the Group of Copenhagen, to coordinate the receipt and exchange of alerts among the national platforms participating in the Group. GLMS and the Council of Europe will be also working together towards the support of individual national platforms as well.

GLMS President, Ludovico Calvi states: “GLMS has been very actively and effectively cooperating with the Council of Europe and we are excited to further combine forces at global level with reference to the significant initiative of the Group of Copenhagen and the experimental phase of its operational LogBook. We are looking forward to making our best efforts to contributing to its development and success". Convention Secretary, Mikhael de Thyse, adds"GLMS has showed a strong support to all activities of the Convention Secretariat, including the KCOOS+ project, and we are convinced that GLMS’ network, expertise and experience will play a significant role to the efficient development and activities of the GoC’s LogBook as well".

Source: 22 June 2018, GLMS

INTEGRITY IN SPORT EVENTS

United Kingdom

Integrity in sport: INTERPOL and IOC provide investigative training

LONDON, UK – Developing the investigative techniques of sports organizations in relation to competition manipulation was the focus of a fact-finding training session jointly organized by INTERPOL and the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

Hosted by the British Olympic Association (BOA), the two-day event (12 and 13 June) addressed the need for an effective, coordinated response from the sports world to the threat of competition manipulation and related corruption.

With many sports organizations and federations setting up dedicated integrity units, and bringing their regulations in line with the IOC Code on the Manipulation of Sports Competitions, INTERPOL and the IOC have developed this training to equip individuals in sports organizations with skills to conduct fact-finding inquiries related to allegations or suspicions, and report to disciplinary panels.

Many of these fact-finding skills for sports organizations are typical of police investigative work, and highlight the importance of the partnership between INTERPOL and the IOC in protecting the integrity of sports.

Without integrity sport is lost. In the face of changing and evolving threats, training has never been more important,” said Sir Hugh Robertson, Chairman of the British Olympic Association.

Some 25 representatives of national sports federations in the UK took part in the training, with contributions and presentations by major UK-based organizations including the Sports Betting Integrity Unit of the UK Gambling Commission, the British Horseracing Authority, the Tennis Integrity Unit as well as Sportradar.

The INTERPOL-IOC Handbook on Conducting Fact-Finding Inquiries into Breaches of Sports Integrity was provided during the training. The Handbook is an important reference for experts in National Olympic Committees and International Federations to make complex, challenging inquiries more manageable, transparent and accountable.

Source: 19 June 2018, INTERPOL

https://www.interpol.int/News-and-media/News/2018/N2018-057

CORRUPTION

Italy

9 arrested for corruption in building of new Roma stadium

ROME (AP) Roma’s long-delayed plans to build a new stadium hit another major obstacle Wednesday when nine people were arrested for alleged corruption linked to bureaucratic matters involving the venue.

Among those picked up by Carabinieri paramilitary police were the stadium’s main constructor, Luca Parnassi, and six of his colleagues.

Those that have erred will pay,” Rome Mayor Virginia Raggi said. ”We support legality.

A prosecutor announced that Roma was not involved in the investigation.

We don’t know anything about it,” said Roma general director Mauro Baldissoni.

Roma’s American president, James Pallotta, first presented the stadium plan in March 2014, saying that it would be ready for the 2016-17 season – yet construction has still not started.

The massive project – due to include a training center, entertainment complex, office space and extensive transportation works – has been delayed by environmental concerns, bureaucracy and criticism over public funding.

The project’s cost was originally valued at 1.6 billion euros ($1.9 billion), including more than 200 million euros in public financing.

The proposed stadium site in Tor di Valle is about halfway between downtown and Leonardo Da Vinci Airport.

With a design inspired by the Colosseum, the stadium is slated to seat 52,500 and be expandable to 60,000 for major matches.

Roma currently shares the 72,000-seat Stadio Olimpico with city rival Lazio. Prosecutors allege that payments were made illegally in cash, along with bills for non-existent job hires and counseling.

Source: AP, 13 June 2018, Fox Sports

https://www.foxsports.com/soccer/story/9-arrested-for-corruption-in-building-of-new-roma-stadium-061318

Views

2864

Related Articles