ESSA comment on the Europol/Copenhagen group meeting

Business News

The Group of Copenhagen (Network of National Platforms) held its 4th meeting in The Hague (Netherlands) on 3 July 2017, hosted by the Department of Sport at the Dutch Ministry of Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport.

Sixteen European countries participated in the meeting, illustrating the growing importance of the national platforms as key entities in the fight against the manipulation of sports competitions. Participants agreed to contribute to technical assistance missions to requesting countries, which will be organised by the Council of Europe within its project KCOOS+. Participants will also develop the exchange of information on potential manipulations of competitions during sports events. These activities, as well as the working tools that have been established, will increase the operational personality of the Group of Copenhagen and will endorse it as a major actor in transnational collaboration.

During a working session on 4 July 2017 at the Europol headquarters in The Hague, the network of national platforms has moreover strengthened its co-operation with Europol in this field of work. This co-operation will look into possibilities to share with Europol information collected and synchronised within the Group in an effort to provide a more efficient contribution to law enforcement actions against manipulations of sports competitions.

The Group of Copenhagen was set up in July 2016, at the initiative of the Council of Europe. It involves the co-ordinators of national platforms that have been established in reference to the Convention for the Manipulation of Sports Competitions.

Khalid Ali, Secretary General of the regulated betting sector’s integrity body ESSA, which helped to develop the CoE Convention and was a partner in the KCOOS project, said that the organisation: “Welcomed the increased focus on betting fraud and the manipulation of sporting events at regulatory authority level through the Copenhagen Group and the involvement of law enforcement authorities such as Europol.

We clearly need to consider coordinated, practical and proportionate actions at both national and international levels; ESSA has been calling for this for years. As the party at the sharp end of this, it is fundamental to the success of any proposals that the regulated betting sector is fully engaged in any sports betting integrity policy considerations and their delivery.”