The European Handball Federation or EHF, an umbrella organisation for the European handball renewed its integrity partnership with Sportradar, a global leader that provides services to bookmakers, national and international sports federations, and media companies. The multi-year deal will set in action the promise of Sportradar providing EHF with additional services aimed at safeguarding the integrity of the federation’s competitions.
In a joint attempt to cut down the threats to the integrity of the sport of handball, EHF and Sportradar joined hands back in June 2017. Sportradar which is already in the field providing a range of data, streaming, marketing and digital services across European Cup club competitions, will now extend this to include its Fraud Detection System across a number of EHF events.
And EHF will have the option to utilise Sportradar’s Intelligence and Investigation services, through which a team of dedicated intelligence experts can help investigate organisations or individuals who may be targeting European competitions.
The EHF Secretary General, Martin Hausleitner said: “The EHF is committed to protecting the integrity of its flagship club and national team competitions. This further extension to our cooperation with Sportradar brings us in line with many other leading sports organisations and will provide us with the tools and support to be able to maintain European handball’s reputation worldwide.”
Andreas Krannich, the Managing Director integrity services at Sportradar, added: “We are very pleased to be able to provide our integrity services to the EHF as we forge an ever-stronger bond with this forward-thinking federation. Our expert team has been monitoring matches from the start of the year, using our unique and world-class intelligence and detection systems to flag any attempts to manipulate or corrupt this incredible sport.”
How digital is your country? Europe needs Digital Single Market to boost its digital performance
Brussels, 18 May 2018 — Today the European Commission is publishing the results of the 2018 Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI), a tool which monitors the performance of Member States in digital connectivity, digital skills online activity, the digitisation of businesses and digital public services.
According to it, the EU is getting more digital, but progress remains insufficient for Europe to catch up with global leaders and to reduce differences across Member States. This calls for a quick completion of the Digital Single Market and increased investments in digital economy and society.
Andrus Ansip, Vice-President for the Digital Single Market, said: “This is a shift, albeit small, in the right digital direction. As a whole, the EU is making progress but not yet enough. In the meantime, other countries and regions around the world are improving faster. This is why we should invest more in digital and also complete the Digital Single Market as soon as possible: to boost Europe’s digital performance, provide first-class connectivity, online public services and a thriving e-commerce sector.”
Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, said: “We look forward to a rapid progress on major reforms such as the European Electronic Communications Code aiming at boosting investments in enhanced connectivity. This year’s Digital Economy and Society Index demonstrates that we must deploy further efforts to tackle lack of digital skills among our citizens. By integrating more digital technologies and equipping them with skills, we will further empower citizens, businesses and public administrations. This is the way to succeed the digital transformation of our societies.“
Over the past year, the EU continued to improve its digital performance and the gap between the most and the least digital countries slightly narrowed (from 36 points to 34 points). Denmark, Sweden, Finland and the Netherlands scored the highest ratings in DESI 2018 and are among the global leaders in digitalisation. They are followed by Luxembourg, Ireland, the UK, Belgium and Estonia. Ireland, Cyprus and Spain progressed the most (by more than 15 points) over the last four years. However, some other EU countries still have a long way to go and the EU as a whole needs to improve to be competitive on the global stage.
DESI 2018 shows:
Connectivity has improved, but is insufficient to address fast-growing needs
- Ultrafast connectivity of at least 100 Mbps is available to 58% of households and the number of subscriptions is rapidly increasing. 15% of homes use ultrafast broadband: this is twice as high as just two years ago and five times higher than in 2013.
- 80% of European homes are covered by fast broadband with at least 30 Megabits per second (Mbps) (76% last year) and a third (33%) of European households have a subscription (23% increase compared to last year, and 166% compared to 2013).
The number of mobile data subscriptions has increased by 57% since 2013 reach 90 subscriptions per 100 people in the EU. 4G mobile networks cover on average 91% of the EU population (84% last year).
Indicators show that the demand for fast and ultrafast broadband is rapidly increasing, and is expected to further increase in the future. The Commission proposed a reform of EU telecoms rules to meet Europeans’ growing connectivity needs and boost investments.
More and more Europeans use the internet to communicate
The highest increase in the use of internet services is related to telephone and video calls: almost half of Europeans (46%) use the internet to make calls, this is almost a 20% increase compared to last year and more than 40% increase compared to 2013. Other indicators show that 81% of Europeans now go online at least once a week (79% last year).
To increase trust in the online environment, new EU rules on data protection will enter into force on 25 May 2018.
The EU has more digital specialists than before but skills gaps remain
- The EU improved very little in the number of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) graduates (19.1 graduates per 1000 people aged 20 to 29 years old in 2015, compared to 18.4. in 2013);
- 43% of Europeans still do not have basic digital skills (44% last year).
Alongside the Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition, the Commission has launched the Digital Opportunity Traineeships to tackle the digital skills gap in Europe. The pilot initiative will provide digital traineeships for up to 6,000 students and recent graduates until 2020 in another EU country.
Businesses are more digital, e-commerce is growing slowly
While more and more companies send electronic invoices (18% compared to 10% in 2013) or use social media to engage with customers and partners (21% compared to 15% in 2013), the number of SMEs selling online has been stagnating over the past years (17%).
In order to boost e-commerce in the EU, the Commission has put forward a series of measures from more transparent parcel delivery prices to simpler VAT and digital contract rules. As of 3 December 2018, consumers and companies will be able to find the best deals online across the EU without being discriminated based on their nationality or residence.
Europeans use more public services online
58% of internet users submitting forms to their public administration used the online channel (52% in 2013).
- 18% of people use online health services.
In April 2018, the Commission adopted initiatives on the re-use of public sector information and on eHealth that will significantly improve cross-border online public services in the EU.
The annual Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) aims to measure the progress of EU Member States towards a digital economy and society. It helps EU countries identify areas requiring priority investments and action. The DESI is also a key tool when analysing digital in the European Semester, which allows EU countries to discuss their economic and budget plans and monitor progress at specific times throughout the year.
This year, both DESI and the more detailed analysis of national digital policies, providing an overview of progress and of policy implementation by Member States (previously called Europe’s Digital Progress Report) are published jointly using the DESI name. A more detailed Telecoms Chapter for each Member State is annexed to the reports. To make better comparison between Member States, DESI also develops cross-country analyses in connectivity, skills, use of the internet, take-up of digital technology by businesses, digital public services, ICT R&D and innovation investment and use of Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme funds by Member States.
The Commission has presented 29 legislative proposals under its Digital Single Market strategy and called, in a recent Communication, the European Parliament and Member States to adopt these proposals by the end of 2018.
EU Leaders’ meeting in Sofia: Completing a trusted Digital Single Market for the benefit of all
Brussels, 15 May 2018 – Ten days ahead of the entry into application of the General Data Protection Regulation, the European Commission is today presenting a set of concrete actions that European leaders can take to protect citizens’ privacy and make the EU’s Digital Single Market a reality before the end of 2018.
The Communication presented today is the Commission’s contribution to the informal discussions that EU leaders will hold in Sofia tomorrow.
The Commission believes that it is in the shared interest of all Member States to manage the digital transformation by following the European approach, which links investment in digital innovation with strong data protection rules. This will allow the EU to effectively deal with the challenges of an increasingly data-based global economy.
Vice-President Andrus Ansip, responsible for the Digital Single Market, said: “Data is at the heart of our economy and society. It needs to flow freely, to be safe and secure. The European Commission has put forward all the proposals for a Digital Single Market; it is now EU leaders who have the keys to unlock digital opportunities. This new regulatory environment should go hand in hand with major investments in areas such as cybersecurity, 5G, artificial intelligence and high-performance computing.”
Věra Jourová, Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, added: “The recent Facebook Cambridge Analytica revelations confirm once more that the EU made the right choice to put in place strong data protection rules. Data harvesting with the aim of manipulating public opinion is unacceptable. We are proud to be setting the new global standard for the protection of personal data. This is fundamental for consumer trust in an increasingly digital economy and society.”
Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, said: “Having the right regulatory framework in place is crucial to create trust and develop businesses online. Together with the General Data Protection Regulation, the ePrivacy Regulation will secure our citizens’ electronic communications. In Sofia, EU leaders will have a unique occasion to give decisive incentives on the remaining key digital proposals still in negotiations.”
Three years after adopting the Digital Single Market Strategy, the Digital Single Market has progressed, with 12 legislative proposals agreed by the European Parliament and Council out of the 29 tabled by the Commission since May 2015. Major new laws on data protection, cybersecurity, and the end of mobile roaming charges are either already in place or will be in a matter of days or weeks. Member States must now ensure these agreed rules work in practice.
Strengthening the protection of personal data in the EU
General Data Protection Regulation: Two-thirds of Europeans say that they are worried about having no control over the information they provide online, while half are concerned about falling victim to fraud. The recent Facebook/Cambridge Analytica scandal has raised awareness that data could be misused if not properly protected.
Through the General Data Protection Regulation citizens will be able to benefit from stronger protection of personal data through:
- better control over how personal data is handled by companies and public administrations alike, including the need for users’ clear consent for processing their personal data;
- more clarity about the privacy policies of companies;
- swift notification of harmful data breaches without delay.
Next steps: The Commission is inviting EU leaders to ensure that national authorities urgently put in place all the remaining steps necessary to prepare for the application of the new rules in all Members States.
ePrivacy Regulation: Alongside the General Data Protection Regulation, the ePrivacy Regulation proposed in January 2017, currently under negotiation in the European Parliament and the Council, is essential so that the confidentiality of Europeans’ online communication is not breached. The new rules will apply both to traditional telecoms operators and online services, such as emails, instant messaging or online voice services. This means that without users’ consent, no service provider would be able access the devices they use.
Next steps: The Commission is urging the Council to swiftly agree on its negotiation position on the ePrivacy Regulation, so that negotiations with the European Parliament can start by June 2018, with a view to the adoption by the end of 2018.
Necessary steps to complete a functional Digital Single Market
Since the launch of the Digital Single Market strategy in May 2015, the Commission has delivered proposals for all 29 initiatives identified as essential for a functional Digital Single Market. The benefits are already being enjoyed by citizens, for instance through a four-fold increase in data use when travelling to other Member States thanks to the abolition of roaming charges. Altogether the Digital Single Market could contribute €415 billion per year to our economy and create hundreds of thousands of new jobs.
In particular, the Commission is inviting EU leaders to discuss and give their strategic orientation with a view to:
- Mobilising the necessary public and private investments to deploy artificial intelligence, 5G connectivity networks, high-performance computing.
- Ensuring that the Regulation on free flow of non-personal data, designed to further develop the European data economy, is agreed by co-legislators by June 2018.
- Similarly, the Electronic Communications Code, aiming at boosting investment in high-speed and high-quality networks across the EU, should also be finalised by June 2018.
- Helping Member States equip Europeans with the digital skills they will need in today’s and tomorrow’s digital economy and society.
More generally, all other pending Digital Single Market proposals should be agreed by the end of 2018, in line with the call of the European Council of October 2017. These include, for instance, the modernisation of EU copyright rules to protect creators online better and facilitate the access to European works across borders.
The EU has already put an end to mobile roaming charges in the EU and allowed Europeans to travel across the EU with their online subscriptions for films, TV series, video games, music, sport programmes or ebooks.
Since 9 May 2018, Member States have to apply the first EU-wide legislation on cybersecurity – the Directive on Security of Network and Information Systems (NIS Directive) – which will be completed by a wide-ranging set of measures for stronger cybersecurity in the EU. This includes a proposal for an EU Cybersecurity Agency to assist Member States in dealing with cyber-attacks, as well as a new European certification scheme that will ensure that products and services in the digital world are safe to use. As of December 2018, thanks to new rules against unjustified geoblocking, consumers will no longer face barriers when buying products or services online within the EU. For businesses, this means more legal certainty to operate cross-border.
In April 2018, the Commission delivered all the remaining Digital Single Market actions and notably presented a European approach for the future of artificial intelligence, measures to tackle disinformation online, including an EU-wide Code of Practice on disinformation, as well as conditions for fairness and transparency in the online platforms economy designed to lead to an innovation-friendly environment for EU businesses.
In parallel, the General Data Protection Regulation was adopted in December 2015 with a two-year transition period to allow Member States and their authorities to be fully ready when it enters into application on 25 May 2018. In January 2018, the Commission also published guidelines to facilitate the application of the new data protection rules across the EU.
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ESSA reports 50 suspicious betting alerts during Q1 2018
Brussels, 2 May: International betting integrity body ESSA (Sports Betting Integrity) reported 50 cases of suspicious betting to the relevant authorities during the first quarter (Q1) of 2018. The Q1 cases involved 9 sports with: 27 cases in tennis, 11 cases in football, 4 in table tennis, 2 each in badminton and volleyball, and one each in basketball, beach volleyball, ice hockey and eSports.
ESSA Secretary General Khalid Ali said: “The publication of the interim report into integrity issues in tennis has understandably focused attention on that sport. Tennis makes up over half of our alerts in the first quarter of 2018, but it is important to highlight that it is one of nine sports on which alerts were reported. Therefore ESSA has continued the expansion of its information sharing partnerships throughout the first quarter.
“This has seen important agreements concluded with the Rugby Football Union, International Cricket Council, State of Victoria Police, Portuguese gambling regulator and UEFA. In addition, ESSA’s betting integrity officer was seconded to the IOC to help monitor the Winter Olympic Games. This proved to be a resounding success and will hopefully pave the way for similar stakeholder engagement and integrity partnership working with other sports during their high-profile events.”
The Q1 report includes an article by European football’s governing body UEFA on the organisation’s policy to tackle match-fixing through a four-pillar approach encompassing: education, legal framework, monitoring and investigation, and sanctions. UEFA works alongside a range of partners to protect football’s integrity and the announcement covering the recent signing of an information sharing agreement MoU with ESSA can be viewed here.
ESSA holds positions on high-level betting policy forums at the European Commission, Council of Europe and the IOC. It is driving a number of important initiatives aimed at addressing match-fixing and hosted an international betting integrity conference at Lords Cricket Ground (see here) at the end of last year, attended by over 150 senior officials from sports bodies, regulators and other key stakeholders. A copy of ESSA’s Q1 integrity report can be accessed here, along with previous reports.
ESSA represents many of the world’s biggest regulated sports betting operators, serving over 40 million consumers in the EU alone. Concerned regulated bookmakers created ESSA in 2005 to monitor betting markets and alert sporting bodies and national regulators to suspicious betting patterns. The goal was, and is, to protect consumers from potential fraud caused by manipulating sporting events. ESSA helps to combat this with evidence-based intelligence it provides to sporting bodies and regulators.
Every year, our members invest over €50m in compliance and internal security systems in order to help combat fraud. They also give back to sport and society by spending €400m on sponsorship around the world – €250m of that in Europe alone. This increases substantially when advertising and photo and video-streaming rights are taken into consideration. ESSA and its members also co-fund an education programme on gambling with EU Athletes that reaches out to 15,000 athletes/players across at least ten different sports in 13 EU countries.
ESSA continues to play a key role as the regulated betting sector’s representative body at national and international match-fixing policy forums and holds positions on working groups at the European Commission, Council of Europe and the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The organisation is continually reassessing and improving its alert and reporting systems and has established information sharing arrangements with a range of sports bodies and regulatory authorities.
ESSA members include: 888sport, ABB, Bet-at-Home, Betclic, Betdaq, Betsson, BetStars, BetVictor, Betway, bet365, bwin, Cashpoint, Expekt, Fonbet, Gamesys, Interwetten, Ladbrokes Coral, Paddy Power Betfair, Sky Bet, Sportingbet, Sporting Index, Sportium, Stanleybet, Stoiximan, Unibet and William Hill.
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