UK becomes 34th signatory of Macolin Convention

UK becomes 34th signatory of Macolin Convention

Monday, December 10, 2018 Posted by News Team
Convention gains another signatory, but still needs to be ratified by five states to come into effect

The UK has become the 34th Council of Europe member state to sign the Convention on the Manipulation of Sports Competitions, known as the Macolin Convention. 

Minister for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Mims Davies signed the convention on behalf of the UK government. 

It sees the country commit to the only binding legal framework for tackling match-fixing, setting out definitions to be used by member states and establishing processes through which states can  collaborate on initiatives to uphold sporting integrity.

“Match-fixing is a real threat to the integrity of sport. It is a crime that robs spectators of the pleasure of watching a contest that they can trust,” Davies said.

“While I’m confident that we have a robust system in place to prevent match-fixing, we cannot be complacent,” she said. “It is a cross-border issue, and only through a coordinated international effort can we mitigate the risks.”

Council of Europe deputy secretary general Gabriella Battaini Dragoni added: “I warmly welcome today the United Kingdom’s signature of the Council of Europe Convention on the Manipulation of Sports Competitions.

“This treaty is the only international legally-binding instrument against match-fixing, illegal betting, bad governance, insider information, conflicts of interests and the use of clubs as shell companies,” she said. “This is a clear commitment by the United Kingdom to secure integrity in sport through our convention.”

The UK has already moved to strengthen its anti-match fixing controls through the work of the UK Gambling Commission, which has signed Memorandums of Understanding with a number of regulators in other countries. It has also established the Sports Betting Integrity Forum, through which the regulator, sports governing bodies and betting operators can work together to protect sporting competitions from corruption.

“We are pleased that the government has signed the Convention,” Gambling Commission executive director for enforcement and intelligence Richard Watson said. 

“It demonstrates our commitment to international collaboration in the fight against the manipulation of sports competitions and to protecting the integrity of both sport and sports betting in Great Britain.”

First published in 2014, the Macolin Convention has been signed by 34 of the Council of Europe’s 47 member states and ratified by three, Norway, Portugal and Ukraine.

While it must be ratified by five member states to become legally binding, this is being hindered by the Convention’s definition of illegal sports betting. It defines this as “any sports betting activity whose type or operator is not allowed under the applicable law of the jurisdiction where the consumer is located”.

Malta claims that such a definition effectively means a number of its licensees’ activity across Europe would be considered illegal, and is pushing for changes as a result.

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