Results of the EU Study on Sports Organizers’ Rights Have Been Shared With the Public

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A study on sports organizers’ rights under European Union gambling laws has been concluded for the European Commission.

European Commission has revealed the results of an extensive study on the rights of sports organizers under the European Union gambling laws. The results basically tell us that there’s neither rationale nor legal basis for Union-wide rights to consent to wagers.

The Remote Gaming Association has issued a statement in the European gambling news, where the main results of the European Commission’s study were welcomed and praised.

Results of the study

The results EU Commission study on sports organizers’ rights

• The study has been carried out since January 2013

• It investigated European Union gambling laws

• Important conclusions are quoted

“Sports betting right”, or French right, which is a European right to consent to bet was the primary focus of the study. The results show that currently there’s neither legal basis nor rationale for such right. This basically means that in order to offer odds and bets, land-based and online sportsbooks in the European Union must have the consent of organizers of the sporting events the bets are offered on.

The study has also concluded that this is not a very effective method for preventing match-fixing, nor is it effective when it comes to financial distribution of sports betting revenues to various types of sports.

The European Commission’s study was specifically designed to test the rights of various sporting events and leagues. The main focus point of the study was of course betting operators and betting rights. The study in question has been launched in January 2013, and was carried out in partnership between the Dutch Asser Institute and IVIR of the University of Amsterdam.

Excerpts from the study results

The study is of course a comprehensive document with lots of pages and information. The gist of findings has been shared with the media all over Europe, and here are the main points:

– Integrity mechanisms are not a prerequisite of the French right
– “There’s no guarantee that the income is in fact allocated to fraud prevention and detection”
– “The costs associated with the administering of the right to consent to bets will always be considerable”
– “There is no evidence for a link between the financial return stemming from a right to consent to bets and the financing of grassroots sport”
– “It is not evident that safeguarding the integrity of sports events constitutes the principal rationale of the French right to consent to bets”
– The right to consent to bets “risks leaving less popular and less visible sports more exposed to integrity risks”
– “For most sports organizers the financial return would be insufficient to cover their own integrity costs”
– Unjustified restriction on the free movement of services within the Union can be caused by conditions required to implement a right to consent to bets
– The right to consent can create a monopoly for sports “leading to the creation of a dominant position within the meaning of Article 102 TFEU”, not to mention anti-competitive concerns
– “Amending the Database Directive to meet the demands of the sports organizers would bear the risk of creating undesirable information monopolies”

Quotes from the Remote Gaming Association statement

Here are some important quotes from the statement published by the Remote Gaming Association. “Whilst sports bodies and the French authorities continue to promote a betting right, the report rightly highlights that no other Member State has properly implemented legislation similar to that existing in France and that most other jurisdictions have. Instead opted for alternative mechanisms to collect and allocate revenue derived from gambling to sport.”

They continue to state: “Moreover, the report shows that sports organizers already have sufficient legal protection and the creation, at EU level, of a French style sports betting right is not justified.”

Chief Executive Officer at the Remote Gaming Association, Clive Hawkswood, commented: “We welcome the publication of the Asser Study on sports organizers’ rights, as we did the opportunity to participate in the consultation process.”

He goes on to mention: “We hope that the European Commission will take note of its findings which echo our view that calls for a European-wide sports betting right, or indeed a sports betting right of any kind, are commercially driven and have little if anything to do with integrity.”

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