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Gambling education campaign to include 8,500 athletes

European gambling trade associations have agreed to link their betting education programmes under a single code of conduct which will herald a unified approach to educating athletes on appropriate behaviour relating to sports and betting.

The RGA and EGBA , the European Sports Security Association (ESSA) along with their partners in the European player associations, EU Athletes and the PPF will target the campaign, initiated last year, at 8500 athletes, across six European sporting nations, four of the largest EU Member States (UK, Germany, France and Spain) and will encompass seven sports.

Walter Palmer, General Secretary of EU Athletes, who run the player education programme for the EGBA and ESSA said: "The code of conduct on sports betting is designed to help European sports professionals get a grip on, and deal with, issues surrounding the integrity of sport and betting both on- and offline. The decision to adopt a common code across the two programmes can only help strengthen our message."

Simon Taylor, General Secretary of the UK Professional Players Federation (PPF), who developed and manages the player betting education programme funded by the RGA and three of its members ( bet365, Betfair and Ladbrokes ), welcomed the agreement on a single code as a "natural progression" and one which will "facilitate the exchange of best practice benefiting professional sportspeople, the integrity of sport and betting operators. This is essential in the fight against the small number of people that seek to try and corrupt sporting events."

"Keeping sports clean is of the highest priority for European licensed betting operators. Sportsmen play a vital role in keeping sport clean, as they are the first line of defence in integrity. That’s why we support this partnership with EU Athletes, because as player’s representatives they are best placed to educate their fellow sportsmen," added Sigrid Ligné , EGBA Secretary General.

Clive Hawkswood , Chief Executive of the RGA, stated that: "European sport is essentially clean and we want it to remain so. Along with the sophisticated internal integrity mechanisms employed by licensed betting operators, we are committed to working with organisations like the PPF to detect and deter any corruption. The player betting education programme run by the PPF is an important part of that process."

After its first pilot year of programmes, the main lessons learned are:

• There is a real information problem on the ground

• Some sports federations have no rules on sports betting, or fail to communicate them to athletes

• Players’ associations are well placed to provide guidance to sportsmen

• Direct, locker-room level contact with athletes is key

The campaign features the employment of ex-players and top athletes going into dressing rooms and engaging face-to-face with their peers about how best to approach sports and betting.

Source: InfoPowa News

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