Lithuania targets betting threat with ESSA agreement

Lithuania targets betting threat with ESSA agreement

Thursday, June 16, 2016
The deal is the latest to be signed by ESSA and national gaming regulators

The Lithuanian gambling regulator has signed an agreement with ESSA, an organisation whose members include operators that are blacklisted in the country.

The Lithuanian Gaming Control Authority (LGCA) and sports integrity body have announced an information sharing agreement to guard against betting-related corruption. The cooperation arrangement will see the exchange of information concerning any suspicious betting identified on ESSA members’ regulated markets that falls within the Lithuanian regulator’s operational remit.

ESSA’s members include Betway, Unibet and William Hill, eah of whom are black-listed in Lithuania. The LGCA recently accused Unibet of “malicious behaviour” for continuing to operate in the country, with the operator responding by telling TotallyGaming.com that Lithuania’s gambling regulations are “not enforceable”.

Virginijus Dauksys, director of the LGCA, said: “One of the core goals of the LGCA is to protect the interests and rights of players and operators. Match-fixing and betting-related corruption presents a clear threat to meeting that objective and one which we are determined to tackle. We recognise the value in working with a committed partner such as ESSA to help us to deliver on that aim and to meeting a common danger with a united approach.”

Just two years ago, a survey conducted by Transparency International in Lithuania revealed that 15 per cent of Lithuanian footballers and 21 per cent of basketball players personally received offers to take part in match-fixing. The LGCA will hope that worrying statistic can be checked by this deal, which adds to ESSA’s existing arrangements with regulators in the UK, France, Alderney, Gibraltar and Malta.

Khalid Ali, secretary general of ESSA, added: “This is another very positive development in the fight against betting related corruption. The LGCA has shown a great willingness and desire to cooperate with ESSA and its responsible regulated operators. We have the same objectives and I hope that others will join us to prevent fixers from corrupting sport, defrauding betting operators and cheating consumers.”

TotallyGaming.com says: “Just a week after agreeing a similar deal with ARJEL in France, ESSA has again expanded its list of partnerships with regulators.”

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