EU adds new investment to betting industry-backed scheme

EU adds new investment to betting industry-backed scheme

Friday, October 9, 2015 Totally Gaming
RGA CEO Clive Hawkswood believes that cooperation between the betting industry and sports is essential

A betting industry-backed programme to educate young athletes about the dangers of match-fixing will continue until the end of 2017 after it received new funding from the European Union (EU).

Figures from the both the gaming sector and sports welcomed the €488,305 (553,300) investment in 2016 PROtect Integrity, which will enable a programme that has been in operation for the last five years to continue. 

The EU Athletes programme is backed by the Remote Gambling Association (RGA), EGBA and ESSA trade bodies, which have also committed additional funding on top of what has already been awarded by the European Commission.

“It’s a recognition of the success of our partnership with the betting sector,” said Jean-François Reymond, general secretary of EU Athletes. “It will allow us to improve our education tool set, enhance our outreach programme directly to players and also increase the visibility of the #PROtectIntegrity campaign. Players associations are in the front line to preserve the integrity of sporting competitions in Europe.”

The project will provide face-to-face education to close to 15,000 European elite level and youth athletes in 11 countries and at least 10 different sports. Different sports will be targeted in different countries, with the UK focusing on cricket and rugby and other nations looking at events such as football, ice hockey, handball, volleyball and basketball.

RGA chief executive Clive Hawkswood, who spoke about responsible gaming at the WrB 2015 event last month, said: “Continued cooperation between the European Commission, betting operators and athletes associations is vital to safeguarding the integrity of sports in Europe.

“We are therefore delighted that funding of the betting integrity education programme for a further two years is to be provided jointly by the Commission and by representatives of the licensed betting industry.”

Khalid Ali, secretary general of ESSA, added: “It is a world leader in its field and continues to innovate and deliver effective and focused programmes safeguarding both sport and betting markets.”

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