Supporting sports and sports integrity
Online gambling provides crucial funding support to sports. In 2018, our members provided more than €218 million in financial support to sports federations, leagues and clubs, through direct sponsorships and sport streaming rights.
Throughout Europe sports fulfill an important social, economic and entertainment role in society. Sports and sports betting providers, have a shared interest in bring the excitement of sports to millions of people in Europe. Sports betting is a popular form of entertainment within the overall sports entertainment world. For sports, the cooperation is interesting because betting helps to bring greater excitement, interest and additional financial revenue. Online gambling companies broadcast sports events on their websites that few TV stations (whether public or private) broadcast, providing small and medium sized sports with a broader audience and additional marketing.
Working in partnership with sports
An increasing number of sports clubs and federations in Europe enter into multi annual audiovisual rights, live streaming and sponsorship deals with online sports betting operators. In 2018, our members provided more than €86 million in financial support to sports federations, leagues and clubs and paid over €132 million in sport streaming rights to allow them to televise sports on their websites. The gambling sector is now ranked on the top 10 list of sponsors of sports teams and events in Europe. This funding helps to support the activities of professional and grass roots sports.
In 2015, the European Sponsorship (ESA) Association, in cooperation with EGBA, published its Sponsorship Gambling Guidelines. The guidelines apply to sponsorship and official supplier arrangements involving any company that provides online gambling services. The purpose of the guidelines is to set out common regulatory principles and best practices, in order to assist sports rights holders or other sponsored parties and also gambling operators who undertake sponsorship activities, and to promote socially responsible practice within any gambling sponsorship, including the protection of underage individuals and the operation of transparency actions.
Protecting sports integrity by fighting against match fixing
Protecting the integrity of sports competitions is a priority for online gambling companies who have an economic interest in preventing themselves from being defrauded by match-fixing. The fight against match fixing is a global responsibility and all stakeholders – public authorities, betting operators, sports organisations, and players’ unions – must work closely together to fight it. EGBA members take the risks of corruption in sports very seriously and work closely with sports regulators and other stakeholders to reduce those risks.
EGBA has been working, since 2005, with the International Betting Integrity Association (IBIA) to help combat match-fixing. IBIA’s early warning monitoring platform helps detect suspicious betting patterns, information which IBIA then uses to alert sports authorities, providing an electronic trail of data which can be used to launch legal investigations. IBIA is established and funded by sports betting operators.
To combat match-fixing the EGBA supports:
- Effective regulation to help control the black market in sports betting and minimising the risk of corruption and match-fixing.
- International initiatives such as the Council of Europe convention on match fixing, the IOC’s betting integrity recommendations and the UK Integrity Action Plan, to tackle the threat of conflicts of interest and tolerance of bad practices.
- Tougher sanctions to ensure the full enforcement of sporting rules.
- Education programs such as the PROtect Integrity initiative, which is financially supported by EGBA and led by the EU Athletes Association since 2010. The European Commission joined as co-funder of the initiative in 2016. The initiative provides grassroots education to athletes about the rules related to and the dangers of match-fixing and has provided face-to-face education to close to 33,500 elite and youth athletes in 11 EU countries and through at least 10 different sports.
- Greater cooperation to extend to regulators, as well as new regions, the early warning system of ESSA.
- In 2018, EGBA members provided more than €86 million in financial support to sports federations, leagues and clubs.
- EGBA members paid more than €132 million in sports streaming rights in 2018.
- EGBA members take the risks of corruption in sports very seriously and work closely with sports regulators and other stakeholders to reduce those risks.
- EGBA funds a grassroots match-fixing education programme which has reached close to 33,500 elite and youth athletes in 11 EU countries and through at least 10 different sports.