Tatsat Chronicle Magazine

Illegal Bets in Sports Add Up to $1.7 Trillion: UNODC

The report by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime underlines the staggering scale, manifestation and complexity of corruption and organised crime in sport at the global, regional and national levels.
December 11, 2021

The new United Nations report, the first-ever Global Report on Corruption in Sport, asks for an urgent, unified and international response to fight malpractice and fraud across the sector. The ground-breaking new report was issued to coincide with International Anti-Corruption Day, observed on 9 December.

According to the UN Agency, the report reveals a staggering scale, manifestation, and complexity of corruption and organised crime in sport at the global, regional, and national levels. Developed in partnership with nearly 200 experts from across government, sports’ organisations, the private sector and academia, the report notes that corruption in sports is not a new phenomenon, but points to a “substantial increase” in the past two decades. Globalisation, a huge influx of money, the rapid growth of legal and illegal sports betting, and technological advances, are suggested to the reasons driving the money, it adds.

The report also analyses the role of illegal betting, competition manipulation, abuse, the susceptibility of major sporting events to fraudsters, and the involvement of organised crime, among others. Finally, it highlights initiatives that can help tackle the problem, issues related to detecting and reporting wrongdoing, and how existing legal frameworks can be used to address the problem. The report includes a playbook with concrete policy considerations, for both governments and sports organisations, asking for legal, policy and institutional frameworks to be strengthened, comprehensive anti-corruption policies to be implemented, and more cooperation and exchange of information among sport organisations, crime prevention and criminal justice authorities and policymakers

The report is launched ahead of the biennial UN anti-corruption gathering, the Conference of the States Parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption, to be held in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt from 13 to 17 December.