The Swedish government has said it plans to join the Macolin Convention on match-fixing, a move welcomed by state-owned operator Svenska Spel.
The 2014 convention created by the Council of Europe promotes the creation of various “national platforms” to coordinate efforts to prevent match-fixing.
“By joining the Macolin Convention, Sweden will be fully integrated into the global network of countries that actively work to protect sport from manipulation. International cooperation is an important key and by sharing information across borders we gain access to valuable insights and tools that make it more difficult for criminals to influence sporting events,” said Patrik Hofbauer, CEO of Svenska Spel.
Two Swedish ministers confirmed in a recent article in national newspaper Expressen that the country intends to join the convention.
Malta is notable by its decision not to sign up, despite the island hosting a large concentration of gambling companies. The Maltese government has previously objected to the definition of “illegal online gambling” in the convention.
Ecuador has raised match-fixing alarm bells, with a team in the first league (LigaPro) confirming that two players have been found guilty of deliberately incurring corner kicks.
Marlon Granda, the president of the club in question, Libertad FC, confirmed that the team had executed an internal investigation and found that two of its players were involved in match-fixing and sports betting. Players Milton Bolanyos and Jordan Chillambo admitted their guilt when confronted with the evidence.
LigaPro is now investigating whether it is an isolated incident or part of a larger network of corruption.
The case follows in the footsteps of Brazil, Chile, Peru, Colombia and Bolivia who face their own match-fixing investigations of differing scales.
In June, Ecuador’s constitutional court approved a tax reform that would tax online betting, including on sports. Local operators are expected to pay 15 percent on their total income minus prizes, while players will pay 15 percent tax on total winnings.
UK academics have received funding to investigate gambling ads in sports, alongside alcohol and tobacco, in what they are calling a “direct response” to the lack of pressure placed on advertising in the recent UK government white paper.
Researchers from the University of Nottingham, the University of Glasgow and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine will conduct the study, which is being funded by the Wellcome Trust.
The research will extend back as far as 1965 and up to 2025 to assess how advertising for gambling, along with other vice industries, has become closely associated with sports such as football, rugby, cricket, Formula One and tennis.
“Given the near ubiquity of professional football and gambling partnerships, it's often difficult to remember that it didn't used to be this way. As the gambling industry extends their partnerships with other sports, it’s vital to explore the actions they took to establish this ‘new normal’,” said University of Glasgow professor and veteran gambling academic, Heather Wardle.
“This project will examine how commercial power and decision-making has influenced our sporting environments and what should be done about it,” she said.
Sweden will join the international Macolin Convention on sports integrity, while Ecuador becomes the latest South American country to become embroiled in a match-fixing scandal.