Monday, February 09, 2009
Sports call for action from governments and and EU on betting

The Sport Rights Owners Coalition (SROC) today called for Governments and European Institutions to engage proactively in the debate about the relationship between sports and betting.

The sports welcome the support of their case by the members of the European Pari Mutuel Association (EPMA), which include the major European pool betting operators.

Sports have been campaigning for a clear legal relationship to be established in national law and at international level, so that any betting organisation offering a bet on a sport, anywhere in the world, would have to have contracted with the sport for the right to do so. The introduction of clear and specific statutory sports betting relationships will ensure that sports are able to protect their integrity and secure a fair return, to be invested back into the sport.

The EPMA specifically call for recognition of the right of sports to earn a fair return from betting revenues generated on their event, and for sports to have the ability through contracts to assess and address integrity concerns.

Nic Coward, speaking for the sports, said:
“The support of the EPMA for sports’ case is a very significant development. It follows on previous academic and political studies that have reached the same conclusion, including the European White Paper on Sport.
“The time has come for governments and the EU institutions to take decisive action to protect sports integrity and deliver them a fair return. The debate is not just about opening up markets for betting operators, it is about creating a framework to deal with these issues as Europe and the rest of the world deals with online sports betting.
“The French government are leading the way in this area and we look forward to the publication of their legislative proposals that will confirm the competition organisers’ right. This is a very positive development for sport, as it will introduce a statutory sports betting relationship, and ensure that betting companies work in partnership with sports.
Sports betting relationships are the best model to fight match fixing and ensure the sustainable financing of sport at all levels. The European Parliament report on integrity in online gambling has initiated a debate that establishes a best practice model for the whole of Europe and beyond. National Governments must build on this work by bringing forward proposals that set out how they intend to protect sports integrity and deliver them a fair return”.

Notes for Editors

The Sport Rights Owners Coalition, created two years ago, brings together over 40 major international and national sporting organisations. The purpose of the informal group is to enable the sharing of ideas and information and to prepare and present common positions on major issues for sport.

The sports are seeking proper recognition of the value of sport from Governments across the world, and effective protection for their rights under law. Priorities are addressing piracy in the digital environment, anti-counterfeiting generally, broadcast and IP policy development generally, and sports betting.

For further information, please contact Oliver Weingarten

The EPMA members include the PMU (France), AAMS and UNIRE (Italy), and the Totes in Germany, Great Britain and Ireland.