CONCACAF, ESSA agree betting integrity MoU

BRUSSELS – CONCACAF and the European Sports Security Association (ESSA), the regulated betting industry’s integrity body, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Tuesday to establish an arrangement for the sharing of betting integrity information.

The MoU builds on CONCACAF’s deep commitment to integrity and transparency, while partnering with ESSA, an organization with an already robust information sharing base with many of the world’s major football authorities.

“CONCACAF follows a multi-step approach in the fight against match-fixing in order be able to prevent, detect, investigate, and respond to potential cases with zero tolerance,” said Dr. Laila Mintas, Director of Sports Integrity at CONCACAF.

Dr. Mintas, who oversees the design and implementation of systems and processes to prevent, detect, investigate, and respond to match-fixing issues in CONCACAF, views the association with ESSA as integral piece of a comprehensive approach.

“Cooperation and coordination with all other stakeholders is integral to CONCACAF’s strategy,” Dr. Mintas continued.  “The sports betting industry is an important partner in that fight. Building an efficient partnership with the betting industry’s integrity body is therefore very essential.”

From ESSA’s perspective, the relationship with CONCACAF demonstrates its and its membership’s increasingly global focus.

“ESSA is a recognised world leader when it comes to identifying, tracking and tracing suspicious betting behaviour and we are committed to working closely with responsible and committed sporting bodies,” said Khalid Ali, Secretary General of ESSA.  “I am therefore delighted that we have reached this important information sharing agreement with CONCACAF.  It formalises our respective organisations’ joint resolve to form a robust and proactive partnership to protect sporting events and regulated betting markets from criminal elements that seek to profit from manipulating sport.”

The regulated betting industry’s integrity body has recently published its annual integrity report which shows that its members reported 148 unusual betting patterns during 2013, with 30 of those events found to be suspicious and subsequently referred to the relevant sporting and regulatory authorities for further investigation. 

In July, CONCACAF announced an extension of its partnerships with FIFA EWS and Sportradar for the monitoring of betting on a range of CONCACAF and regional competitions for the 2014-2015 competition period.