Members of European Parliament (MEP) looking at the future of sports in Europe focused on sports betting when they met this week. A report on the European Dimension in Sport, frequently referred to as “the Fisas report,” outlines various instructions that will ensure competence in sports for years to come. One of the recommendations put forward concerned the “betting right” which is regularly cited by those in the British government trying to secure a stable future for horseracing. In light of that, the report included the following wording:
The acknowledgement that sports betting constitutes as “a form of commercial exploitation of competitions” and the consequent call to the European Commission and EU Member States to recognise and protect the competition organisers’ property rights, “guaranteeing a significant contribution from betting operators” towards “funding grassroots sports” and “protecting the integrity of competitions”
The problem here will be the European Parliament trying to put it into practice. It’s been pointed out just how difficult it will be to reach a Europe-wide consensus on the sports betting industry and the very same problem would be present here. Thanks to the lack of harmonization in the continent’s different markets and the balkanization that has taken place, it’s very unlikely they can do anything else but call for countries to take action. MEPs later went on to reiterate their policy on anything-untoward going on and stated:
A zero-tolerance policy against match-fixing, illegal betting, money laundering and doping in professional sport by making them criminal offences
As has been shown in the latest high profile fixing cases this is already well and truly underway. Unfortunately it’s the less developed nation that have been admitted into the European Union (EU) that often experience fixing and corruption problems and they’re the ones that need to take the focus of this report.