The Keep Crime Out Of Sport+ (KCOOS+) project of the Council of Europe comes to an end in December 2021. The project has been running from January 2018 to promote the implementation of the Macolin Convention against the manipulation of sports competitions. In the final months, KCOOS+ has offered a rich variety of activities to National Platform representatives and key stakeholders, which included the update of the Macolin Convention’s website and online database as well as capacity and confidence building activities. The overview of these is presented below.
A “National Platform” is the key national hub described in Article 13 of the Convention on the Manipulation of Sport Competitions, dedicated to the co-ordination of the fight against competition manipulation at national level. Key stakeholders include public authorities (those responsible for sport, for the regulation of betting, law enforcement and prosecution) as well as private entities, such as sport and betting actors.
As the first of a series of activities in the last quarter of KCOOS+, a regional capacity and confidence building forum, the European Online Networking Event, was organised on 8 October 2021. The peer-to-peer workshop facilitated exchange of information and experience in addressing the manipulation of sports competitions. The peer-to-peer format allowed for the interactive participation of 40 European National Platform representatives and partners, to share their indispensable work on implementing the Macolin Convention. The online event was organised around two main sessions: on best practice examples from National Platforms and co-operation among public, sport and betting stakeholders. The event was enriched by the input of key partners, such as the European Lotteries, the French betting operator, FDJ, the Global Lotteries Monitoring System (GLMS), and UEFA.
To further facilitate cross-sector collaboration, a webinar jointly organised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Council of Europe (CoE) took place on 27 October 2021, focusing on the role of National Olympic Committees (NOCs) within a national co-operation framework (i.e. national platform). The event deepened the expertise of 110 participants from more than 70 countries across the world on effective ways to address the manipulation of sports competitions. Representatives of National Olympic Committees, Public Authorities and National Platforms had the opportunity to gain insights into the co-operation between public authorities and NOCs. One of the aspects of the co-operation has been sharing information and intelligence, which was also discussed at the webinar with the involvement of the French Gambling Authority and INTERPOL.
The KCOOS+ project has provided multiple avenues of support to countries to assist them in implementing the Macolin Convention. This included the provision of specific technical assistance (targeted and tailored support to a country with a development or support need), focusing on improving the effectiveness and the implementation of the Macolin Convention as well as enhancing domestic legislation and governance. In the course of November and December 2021, Moldova and Liberia received such assistance.
In respect of Moldova, the assistance aimed at supporting the establishment of the governance of the National Platform, including mobilising stakeholders and facilitating better co-operation at national and international levels. As a result of the assistance, tasks to be performed by Moldovan authorities and institutions were identified as well as how the Group of Copenhagen and international partners can provide their support. The work was summarised in a strategic plan that defines priorities and expected results as well as milestones to reach concretes steps forward in the implementation of the Macolin Convention in Moldova from 2022 to 2023.
In Liberia, technical assistance had previously been provided in 2020, which resulted in a Roadmap and Action Plan. The current assistance aimed at the review and further implementation of the roadmap by re-mobilising stakeholders and strengthening the applicable legislation. Over November and December, the technical assistance included the assessment of existing laws relevant in the fight against corruption as well as cases prosecuted in relation to competition manipulation. Legal gaps and needs were evaluated to define whether the existing laws were sufficient or specific amendments or new legislation would be needed, criminalising competition manipulation and sports betting related offences. Furthermore, compliance with the Macolin Convention’s provisions was also assessed and summarised in a national report that was accompanied by presentations for the mobilisation of national stakeholders.
Parallel to the organisation of capacity and confidence building events and technical assistance, the Macolin Convention’s website and online database, the Macolin Club House, were also updated. The Club House is a database with 92 entries of contacts that allows for exchange of information, expertise, experience, and good practices. The website provides a better overview of the Macolin Convention’s parties and bodies, its stakeholders as well as the Council of Europe’s co-operation initiatives and tools addressing the manipulation of sports competitions.
The Secretariat continues addressing competition manipulation together with key stakeholders through its various activities within the Macolin Convention’s Follow-up Committee and Advisory Group, the Group of Copenhagen. Building on the legacy of KCOOS+, the development of a new project is also underway.