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FIA and Sportradar Launch RaceAgaintManipulation Campaign

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The Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) and Sportradar launched a new initiative to tackle fixing and manipulation in motorsport events.

The RaceAgainstManipulation campaign will target drivers competing in both national and international competitions as well as team personnel, officials, volunteers, event organisers and FIA staff and consultants.

Jean Todt, President of FIA, said: “Safeguarding the integrity of motor sport worldwide is of paramount importance. No reports of betting manipulation in motor sport have been received to date but we must be vigilant.

“And the best way to achieve this is through education. RaceAgainstManipulation will help stakeholders to recognise potential threats, assist them in the reporting of misconduct. It is an essential tool in the fight to maintain sporting integrity and I advise everyone involved in our sport to use it.”

Additionally, the FIA also aims to reach out to the wider motorsport community outside of the FIA, including national sporting organisations, staff and consultants, media and fans of the sport.

The partners’ efforts include the launch of an e-learning platform, consisting of a 30-minute tutorial, first provided to Formula One drivers on Friday 27 August at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium.

Content covered by the tutorial includes the identification of the behaviour of competition fixtures and information concerning obligations and the duty to report, as well as details regarding the consequences which can arise as a result of regulations breaches. Upon completing the tutorial, each participant receives an FIA certificate.

FIA Secretary-General for Sport Peter Bayer said: “This user-friendly platform is a milestone for the FIA and the motor sports world as it will help raise awareness of the specific contents of the International Sporting Code on this topic and in particular what competition manipulation means in an informative and entertaining approach.

“I thank Pierre Ketterer, Head of the FIA Governance, Integrity & Regulatory Affairs Department and the FIA team for their proactive process to this important matter.”

Andreas Krannich, Managing Director Integrity Services at Sportradar, said: “Manipulation and fixing is a serious threat to sport worldwide and it’s important that all those actively participating in competitive sports competitions, be they competitors, officials or other stakeholders, have the necessary tools to identify risks and how to go about reporting them through the appropriate channels.

“RaceAgainstManipulation is a great initiative with a clear purpose and we commend the FIA for the steps they’re taking to educate their drivers and other stakeholders, and maintain the integrity of their sport.”

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Olympic Casino Faces Another Fine in Lithuania

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The Lithuania Gambling Supervisory Authority has issued another fine to UAB Olympic Casino Group Baltija following a further breach of advertising laws in the country.

The Authority fined Olympic Casino €25,000 after it found the operator featured information on its website about how customers could watch live sports events on Setanta Sports, but also encouraged users to bet on sports.

The text in question set out how customers would watch live coverage of events such as the Spanish La Liga and Italian Serie A football leagues, as well as WTA tennis and Nascar motor-racing in the US.

While the promotion stated that coverage of events would be free, it also included text in relation to how customers could make deposits and withdrawals to and from their account on Olympic Casino. The advert included phrases such as “Be part of the game”.

Assessing the case, the Authority ruled the promotion was in breach of article 10, paragraph 19 of the Law on Gambling of the Republic of Lithuania, which relates to encouraging people to participate in gambling.

The Authority said the information about the possibility to watch events for free was not considered a gift, but information with which the operator sought to draw attention to its services, as well as to persuade and encourage people to participate in gambling.

However, the Authority also noted that the decision was not final and could be subject to an appeal by Olympic Casino.

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Compliance Updates

Kindred Challenges the Coercive Fine in Norway

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Kindred Group, via its wholly owned Maltese subsidiary Trannel International Ltd, has been informed that the Norwegian Gaming Authority has decided to reinstate the coercive fine against Trannel International despite the changes Kindred Group has undertaken.

Over the past month, Kindred has made wholesale changes to the brand to meet the compliance standards set out by the Norwegian regulator – which were detailed in a cease-and-desist letter handed to the subsidiary in 2019.

The changes included removing all Norwegian flags from the website and channels, changing the language on all sites from Norwegian to English, discontinuing all advertising and marketing activities in Norwegian and stopping the offer of talking to Norwegian-speaking customer service agents.

However, even with the new changes, the regulator is persisting with the “non-enforceable” fine, which Kindred believes has no legal basis and will challenge in the courts.

Kindred said in a statement: “Trannel firmly disagrees with the NGA’s assessment as it is entirely legal for Norwegian residents to access and use international gambling services, which are licensed in the EU/EEA area and offered within a safe and secure environment, Kindred will continue to accept customers residing in Norway passively.

“The NGA does not have jurisdiction over Trannel as the company is domiciled in Malta and duly licensed by the Maltese Gaming Authority. Therefore, Kindred is confident that the coercive fine cannot be enforced by the NGA outside of Norway.”

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Compliance Updates

Stanleybet Group Secures Retail Licence for Betting in Andalusia

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The Stanleybet Group has secured a sports betting retail licence to operate in the Spanish region of Andalusia.

The group has been looking at expanding in the Spanish market for some time, with a retail base in Malaga currently set to open in Q1 2023.

Stanleybet Group CEO Giovanni Garrisi said: “We had started the process for obtaining the license already in 2019, then the pandemic event inevitably slowed down the procedures. In the meantime, we continued to dialogue with the Andalusian authorities, to complete the process once everything returned to normal. Now, after obtaining the retail license for sports betting also in this other highly regulated European country, we are ready to expand into a new market, Spain, which offers great opportunities for our sector. Andalusia represents an extremely vast market with a very high development potential. We will start from Malaga, where we are already working on the opening of the first shop, scheduled for the first quarter of 2023, and then continue in the other cities.”

Antonio Stanzani, Stanleybet Country Manager for Spain, said: “The Spanish model envisages two types of shops; the ‘tienda de apuestas’, a betting agency opened directly by the operator and the ‘salon de juegos’, a slightly broader definition that includes the shop opened by private third parties, with the affiliation model. Our business model, already successfully applied in other countries, such as Belgium and Cyprus, includes both types, because we believe that flexibility is one of the factors that have led us to succeed in various markets. Our first shop will be a ‘tienda de apuestas’, to imprint and export our style also in Andalusia, but we are already in contact with several Spanish entrepreneurs who have chosen Stanleybet to start thriving and lasting partnerships in the betting and gaming industry, in which we have been a leader since 1958.”

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