New EU project can help beat the fixers

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A new European Union-funded project designed to curtail match-fixing in sport can help to reduce the threat of manipulation to the gaming industry, according to ESSA, one of its stakeholders.

The Kick Crime Out of Sport (KCOOS) project, whose stakeholders also include Interpol, the International Olympic Committee and the British and French regulatory authorities, was launched  (Wednesday) with a meeting in Brussels.

The 18-month project was approved following the Council of Europe’s successful bid to a European Commission call for proposals on ‘New integrated mechanisms for cooperation between public and private actors to identify sports betting risks’.

It primarily aims to raise awareness on match-fixing and to promote the Council of Europe Convention on the Manipulation of Sports Competitions through aiding countries in implementation, offering practical assistance, such as the development of a Handbook on Good Practices, and the creation of national platforms.

“The project marks another important milestone in the development of an effective and coordinated international collaboration between key stakeholders that are intent on driving criminals out of sport,” said Khalid Ali, secretary general of ESSA, the sports integrity unit.

“Responsible regulated betting operators want nothing else than sport to be free from manipulation and will do whatever we can to help to achieve that.”

The Convention, which was concluded in 2014, was created to prevent and punish illegal sports betting operations and to prevent conflicts of interest in legal sports betting operators and sports organisations.

KCOOS said there will be a number of regional events worldwide to gather information and explore effective legislative models and tools to deal with match-fixing, such as player education and information exchange.

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