ARJEL President Speaks out Against Betting-Related Corruption

After paving the way for online gambling sites in France, ARJEL president Jean-Francois Vilotte launches campaign against corruption in sports betting

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ARJEL president Jean-Francois Vilotte is on an anti-corruption witch-hunt, targeting athletes and sportsmen who bring dishonor to their profession.

Given the recent match-fixing scandal involving two UK footballers and Singaporean nationals, Jean-Francois Vilotte, head of igaming regulator ARJEL, spoke out against corruption by addressing professional sportsmen directly. The authority responsible for regulating internet gambling in France has launched a media campaign asking sportsmen not to damage the image of their profession (or their own, for that matter).

Vilotte promised to check whether members of sporting federations have placed bets on any of the events they were involved in and added: “Such a set up is unique in Europe. We want to establish collaborative projects across the region that would see the establishment of measures to detect and implement a convention to combat match-fixing and corrupt betting.”

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The Frenchman is proud of his contribution to regulating online gambling sites in France and described his four years as head of ARJEL as a time “where a fascinating page was written”, although he spoke up against the authorities’ inability to adapt to market conditions, change the taxation system and open up poker liquidities between the French, Spanish and Italian markets, despite ARJEL’s recommendations.

As for the recent match-fixing scandals in the UK, it is Vilotte’s opinion that “the ability to bet on every aspect of a sporting contest” has played a significant role in the appearance of such scams. Furthermore, he believes that authorities should take a closer look at the activity of online bookmakers “who gain exposure in Asia by sponsoring football teams simply by being licensed in the Isle of Man or Alderney”.

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