Editor's note: Deeksha Malik is a final-year student at
National Law Institute University, India. Her main interest areas are corporate
law, arbitration, and sports law. She can be reached at email@example.com.
In 2015, while interrogating
cricketer Sreesanth and others accused in the IPL match-fixing case, Justice
Neena Bansal, sitting as Additional Sessions Judge, made the following observations as regards betting on cricket matches.
as a game of skill requires hand-eye-coordination for throwing, catching and
hitting. It requires microscopic levels of precision and mental alertness for
batsmen to find gaps or for bowlers to produce variety of styles of deliveries’
(medium pace, fast, inswing, outswing, offspin, legspin, googly). The sport
requires strategic masterminds that can select the most efficient fielding
positions for piling pressure on the batsmen. Based on above description,
cricket cannot be described anything, but as a game of skill.”
The debate on the
issue of betting in sports has since resurfaced and gained the attention of
sportspersons, media, sports bodies, policymakers, and the general public. In
April 2017, the Supreme Court bench comprising of Justices Dipak Misra and AM
Khanwilkar agreed to hear a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking an order
directing the government to come up with an appropriate framework for
regulating betting in sports. The arguments put forth in the PIL present
various dimensions. One of these pertains to economic considerations, a
submission that regulated betting would be able to generate annual revenue of Rs. 12,000 crores by bringing the earnings therefrom within the tax
net. As for policy considerations, it was submitted that a proper regulation in
this area would enable the government to distinguish harmless betting from
activities that impair the integrity of the game such as match-fixing. Further,
betting on cricket matches largely depends on the skill of the concerned
players, thereby distinguishing it from pure chance-based activities.
The issue of
sports betting witnesses a divided opinion till this day. This is understandable, for both sides to the issue have equally pressing
arguments. Aside from its regulation being a daunting task for authorities,
sports betting is susceptible to corruption and other unscrupulous activities.
At the same time, it is argued that it would be better for both the game and
the economy if the same is legalised. More...
Editor’s note: Mario Vigna is a Senior
Associate at Coccia De Angelis Vecchio & Associati in Rome, Italy. His main
practice areas are sports law, commercial law, and IP law. He also has
extensive experience in the Anti-doping field, serving as Deputy-Chief
Prosecutor of the Italian NADO and as counsel in domestic and international sports
proceedings. He is a frequent speaker at various conferences and workshops. He was
not involved in either of the cases discussed below.
Gambling in football is a
popular and potentially lucrative activity. It also raises numerous issues. When
faced with the issue of gambling, the European Court of Justice (now Court of
Justice of the EU) determined that gambling was economic activity per se, notwithstanding gambling’s
vulnerability to ethical issues, and thus could not be prohibited outright.
With the legality of gambling established, it was left to the proper
legislative bodies (national legislatures, national and international federations,
etc.) to regulate gambling in order to guard against fraud and corruption. Gambling
was not going to disappear; the dangers inherent to gambling would require
Editor's note: Marine Montejo is a graduate from the College of
Europe in Bruges and is currently an intern at the ASSER International Sports
Part 2. EU competition law and sports funding
The first analysed impact of Brexit on
sport was the one regarding EU internal market rules and free movement.
However, all sport areas that are of interest to the European Union will be
impacted by the result of the future Brexit negotiations. This second part of
the blog will focus on EU competition law and the media sector as well as
direct funding opportunities keeping in mind that if the UK reaches for an EEA
type agreement competition law and state aid rules will remain applicable as
much as the funding programs. More...
Media reports and interested stakeholders often suggest that
certain types of sports bets would significantly increase the risks of match
fixing occurring. These concerns also surface in policy discussions at both the national and European level.
Frequently calls are made to prohibit the supply of “risky” sports bets as a
means to preserve the integrity of sports competitions.
Questions about the appropriateness of imposing such
limitations on the regulated sports betting, however, still linger. The
lack of access to systematic empirical evidence on betting-related match fixing
has so far limited the capacity of academic research to make a proper risk
assessment of certain types of sports bets.
The ASSER International Sports Law Centre has conducted the first-ever study that assesses the integrity risks of certain sports bets on the
basis of quantitative empirical evidence.
We uniquely obtained access to key statistics from
Sportradar’s Fraud Detection System (FDS). A five-year dataset of football
matches worldwide, which the FDS identified as likely to have been targeted by
match fixers, enabled us to observe patterns and correlations with certain
types of sports bets. In addition, representative samples of football bets
placed with sports betting operator Betfair were collected and analysed.
The results presented in this report, which challenge several claims
about the alleged risks generated by certain types of sports bets, hope to
inform policy makers about the cost-effectiveness of imposing limits on the
regulated sports betting offer.More...
April 2014, the Swedish Gambling Authority (Lotteriinspektionen) warned the
organisers of the Stockholm
Marathon that it would impose a fine of SEK 2
million (ca. € 221.000) for its sponsorship agreement with online betting
operator Unibet. The Authority found that the sponsorship agreement violates
§38 of the Swedish Lotteries Act, which prohibits the promotion of gambling
services that are not authorized in Sweden. The
organisers, however, refused to withdraw Unibet as its sponsor and prominently
displayed the Unibet logo at the event, which took place on 31 May 2014. As a
result, the organisers of the Stockholm Marathon now face legal action before
the Swedish administrative courts. More...
The European Commission has published the “Study
on Sports Organisers’ Rights in the EU”, which was carried out by
the ASSER International Sports Law Centre (T.M.C. Asser Institute) and the
Institute for Information Law (University of Amsterdam).
The study critically examines the legal protection of
rights to sports events (sports organisers’ rights) and various issues
regarding their commercial exploitation in the field of media and sports
betting, both from a national and EU law perspective.
In a number of posts, we will highlight some of the key
findings of the study.
“It was Hyde, after all, and
Hyde alone, that
In recent years, numerous national and European sports
organisers have called for the adoption of a specific right to consent to the
organisation of bets (“right to consent to bets”), by virtue of which no
betting operator could offer bets on a sports event without first entering into
a contractual agreement with the organiser. More...