EC / IRIS - CZECH REPUBLIC SEMINAR FIGHT AGAINST MATCH FIXING

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1 EC / IRIS - CZECH REPUBLIC SEMINAR FIGHT AGAINST MATCH FIXING Date: 10 December 2013 Place: Prague (Czech Republic) Participants: cf. appendix Main issues raised during the seminar: Level of match fixing risk and awareness: - The match fixing risk in Czech Republic is considered by the participants as quite to very high. - There seems to be a high level of awareness about match fixing in Czech Republic. Who has to fight against match fixing? - In Czech Republic, public authorities respect the autonomy of sports organisations. There is a good cooperation between the public authorities, the Czech Sports Union and the of the Czech Republic. When the national lottery, Sazka, main funding source of sport movement in the Czech Republic, went broke (2 years ago), it was necessary to determine some new rules between the Government and the sports movement. It was an opportunity for the Sports Union to increase its proactive potential. - The sports movement seems to be ready to accept public intervention in case of public order risks (for instance intrusion of organised Crime within sports structures). - The idea of developing new strong measures to protect sports integrity and to share information in a national cooperative way is considered important by all participants. The sports union and the football association therefore prepared a very complete national action plan. It should be implemented between 2014 and The objective is to gather all the different stakeholders: Czech Sports Union, of the Czech Republic, Czech Olympic committee, Association of betting operators, Ministry of Finance, other governmental bodies including sport, education, interior and justice. The action plan would include several measures to fight against match fixing: survey on athletes, officials, coaches, education and training programmes, disciplinary rules and sanctions, awareness to the general public, better control of betting operators, stake limits for punters, creation of a betting regulatory authority, information exchange, creation of a coordination platform (with at least 2 meetings a year), cooperation at international level, etc. - Czech Republic (Ministry of Finance) takes part to the debates on the EPAS convention to fight against match fixing and expressed strong support to the project while noticing that other authorities such as the sport ministerial 1

2 authorities were not involved in the process. Many questions have been raised to understand the current process of negotiations. Stanislas Frossard, EPAS Executive Secretary, explained in details the next steps for the project of convention. Sports betting: - In Czech Republic, there is a system of licences for (offline and online) betting. - To get a licence in Czech Republic, it is necessary for betting operators to have a residence in the country. But this rule is contested by the EC who launched recently an infringement procedure against Czech Republic. Under the control of the Ministry of Finance, a new betting regulation draft has already been discussed. It could be adopted in June This new regulation should include conflicts of interest rules and strong measures to fight against illegal betting (IP blocking, payment blocking, etc.). For the representatives of the Ministry of Finance, Denmark is a best practice that inspired the current draft. - Many companies operate illegally in the country (Bet365 and Bwin have been mentioned). According to all the participants, fight against illegal betting is a key issue. Measures to protect sports integrity: - Participants give overwhelming support to the project of national action plan proposed by the Sports Union and the. In Czech Republic, there is a general criminal legislation (Criminal Act) including corruption but nothing is specifically dedicated to sports fraud at the moment. According to the national action plan suggested by the Sports Union, it could be possible to implement a new legislation for sports fraud and betting fraud. Yet the representative from the ministry of Interior mentioned that this was not a necessity: no need of a legislative amendment. - Today, the Police has some instruments to investigate but, according to the representative of the Ministry of Interior, the most important is to obtain relevant information about match fixing. It means that it is necessary to develop a good cooperation with betting operators and the sports movement. - Furthermore, the Ministry of Interior intends to create a specific task force (financial crime department) in cooperation with the Minister of Finance. It will work on 3 different issues: criminal structure, grey economy, seizing proceeds from Crime. - Two original (and important) measures have been suggested by the representative of the Ministry of Interior: o Need to develop tools to be able to guaranty athletes security; o Testing athletes with fake corruption attempts (possible in Czech Republic under section 41 of the Law). Measures Betting: Fight against illegal betting Betting: Authorised list of bets Betting: Other restrictions (pay Existing (Yes / No) NO (measures should be implemented through new Law on betting in 2014 currently inconsistency of the Czech legislation) NO NO (stakes limits should be implemented through national 2

3 out) Sport: Education programs Betting prohibition for sport actors Conflicts of interest: Disclosure of inside information Integrity officer Sport: Prohibition to control betting operators Criminal offence & Sanctions Betting: Prohibition to control sports when bets are offered Contract between sport and betting Intelligence and monitoring action plan and new betting act) NO (will be implemented through national action plan) YES/NO - Rules should be implemented next year through the national action plan (possibly football already has adapted its rules to UEFA requirements); - Professional ice hockey players have betting prohibitions in their contract NO (rules should be implemented through national action plan) NO (except for football due to UEFA requirements) NO NO specific offence for sports fraud (Criminal Act at this time) A new criminal act including sports and betting fraud should be implemented through national action plan NO NO (not at the moment except sponsorship) YES in football (agreement between the football association and SportRadar, exchange of information with betting companies) Next steps and recommendations: From 2014, Czech Republic intends to implement a national action plan to fight against match fixing. This complete action plan should also both include a new betting regulation and an extension of the current criminal act to sports fraud. It is therefore difficult to recommend more measures, due to the impressive work done by the country to establish this action plan in a very cooperative way. Nevertheless, in parallel to a thorough implementation of this action plan Czech Republic may possibly look into the 3 following items: o Appointment of an integrity officer in each big sport federations. o Implementation of enhanced education programmes focusing on face-toface (players, referees) and train the trainers. o Development of enhanced cooperation between sports organisations and betting industry about betting expertise and monitoring. 3

4 APPENDIX LIST OF PARTICIPANTS JANSTA Miroslav Czech Sports Union President MALÝ Ladislav Czech Sports Union Expert TICHÁ Angelika Czech Sport Union KOVÁŘ David Expert Czech Sports Union SZABÓ Veronika Czech Sports Union Assistant to the Board PELTA Miroslav President ŘEPKA Rudolf Secretary General LÍPA Ondřej PRŮŠA Martin 4

5 HLAVOVÁ Lucie Association of football players JIRKA Milan Ice Hockey Association Panel of Judges ŘEZNÍČEK Josef Ice Hockey Association President of the ice hockey league SETIKOVSKÝ Pavel Ice Hockey Association URBAN Martin Ice Hockey Association KONEČNÝ Jiří Handball Federation Competitions Manager KONEČNÝ Michal Basketball Federation Secretary General SYNECKÝ Martin KNYBEL Petr Tipsport General Director BRÁZDIL Zdeněk Sázková kancelář Chance General Director TODT Martin Fortuna Game General Director 5

6 VÍCH Ondřej Fortuna Game Director of Bookmaking TOMÁNKOVÁ Eva International Relations BĚLÍK Robert Product Specialist HERCOG Jaroslav Odds Betting Manager KUBECOVÁ Ilona Director Administration and Legal GABRIELOVÁ Markéta Lottery Dpt. Manager FRIEDMANN Václav CCO KOZÁK Josef Adviser JALOVECKÝ Václav External Relaltions Coordinator HERMAN Marek Asociace provozovatelů kurzovních sázek 6

7 Executive Manager ZEMAN Vlastimil SYNOT Tip Chief Bookmaker ŘEHOLA Jan Ministry of Finance Director of the State Supervision of Gambling and Lotteries ULRICH Václav Ministry of Finance State Supervision of Gambling and Lotteries RABAS Lukáš Ministry of Interior Department anti-corruption GRIM Martin Ministry of Interior Office of the First Deputy Interior Minister for Internal Security NETOLICKÁ Danuše Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports Department of Methodology BUREŠ Radim Transparency International Project Manager FROSSARD Stanislas Council of Europe EPAS Executive Secretary LOBJOIS Bernadette European Lotteries Secretary General ALEXANDRAKIS Evangelos 7

8 European Lotteries Sport Executive Secretary LACARRIÈRE Sarah Sport Accord Intergity Officer KALB Christian CK Consulting Director VERSCHUUREN Pim IRIS Project coordinator 8

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