The European Commission gave a green light for an educational project together with the UK online betting industry and its European counterpart.
The EC agreed to co-finance a campaign to help professional sport players understand better the risks associated with match fixing and online gambling laws.
The educational campaign was initiated and developed originally by European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA), the European Sports Security Association (ESSA) and EU Athletes in 2010. In 2011, the the Remote Gambling Association (RGA) joined the project.
The EU will co-fund 46% of a total budget of EUR 500,000. The educational program will target 15,000 young athletes in 13 countries and at least 10 different sports.
The campaign starts on 1 January 2013 and will run for 18 months. It will feature a number of ex professional players to educate their fellow sportsmen in live meetings about the sports rules regarding online betting and match fixing.
Sigrid Ligne, Secretary General of the EGBA and co-founder of the initiative commented: “The EGBA was a pioneer of this project back in 2010 with EU Athletes and as the main private financial partner we are delighted that the Commission’s co-funding is endorsing our work done over those last 2 years.”
Jeff Reymonds, Secretary General of EU Athletes, added: “The financing from the EU and the betting industry will allow the players’ associations to dramatically expand their education programs all around Europe. Educating young players about the dangers of match fixing is a vital component in protecting sporting integrity and the support of our partners will make all the difference.”
Clive Hawkswood, Chief Executive of the RGA added: “When the RGA and our members first funded the UK Professional Players Federation betting education program in February 2010, it was a new concept, but one we felt could play a significant role in the fight against potential match fixing.”
Hawkswood added: “With that experience we were glad to support the EU Athletes bid for funding so that comparable training will be made available across Europe.”