ESSA targets further expansion after ‘significant’ addition of PMU

ESSA targets further expansion after ‘significant’ addition of PMU

Monday, December 1, 2014

ESSA secretary general Khalid Ali has told TotallyGaming.com that the regulated betting industry integrity body is aiming to further expand its network of operators after what he described as the “significant” addition of French gambling operator PMU.

Established in 2005, ESSA monitors any irregular betting patterns or possible insider betting from various sports across Europe. The body boasts an impressive membership that includes major operators such as Bet365, William Hill and Paddy Power.

In addition, it has various partnership agreements with some of world’s most influential sports bodies. Fifa, football’s global governing body, the International Olympic Committee and the International Tennis Federation are amongst those bodies to have established relationship with ESSA.

PMU is regarded as one of the market’s major operators, as it currently offers fixed odds retail and online operations either focused on or based in Europe, Asia, Australian and the US. PMU is also one of Europe’s leading pari-mutuel operators and currently ranks second worldwide.

Speaking to TotallyGaming.com about the addition of PMU to the ESSA membership, Ali said the partnership will benefit both parties.

“PMU will join the ESSA network of operators that are working together to help combat betting related match-fixing by sharing information on any irregular betting patterns,” Ali told TotallyGaming.com.

“PMU is a significant addition to ESSA as it’s the second largest pari-mutuel in the world.

“I’m looking forward to working closely with the PMU as we continue to strive for new and better ways to keep betting related match-fixing out of sport for good.”

Under the partnership, PMU will have access to ESSA’s Early Warning System, which allows the integrity body to inform regulators of any irregular activity. In turn, this can help regulatory bodies prevent the possibility of game manipulation on a given event.

“As an early warning system, ESSA’s ability to provide intelligence on irregular or suspicious betting activity is considerably enhanced by the PMU becoming a member of our association,” Ali said.

Pierre Pages, general secretary of PMU, added: “We are constantly aware of the need for all of sport’s stakeholders to work together to combat match-fixing.

“We believe that ESSA, with its excellent links not only with sports governing bodies but also regulators and other intelligence units, is the correct platform to co-ordinate this effort.”

Following the addition of PMU, Ali also told TotallyGaming.com that he hopes to attract other operators to ESSA in 2015 as part of a move to better combat corruption in sport.

"Our aim is to keep on increasing the ESSA network of operators and we hope to have some new operators join our association in early 2015," Ali said

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