July 7, 2022

Corruption in sport: $ 1.7 trillion in illegal sports betting every year, according to the UN

The publication calls for an urgent, unified and international response to combat embezzlement and fraud across the sector.

It reveals a “staggering scale, manifestation and complexity of corruption and organized crime in sport at the global, regional and national levels.”

A substantial increase

Almost 200 experts from governments, sports organizations, the private sector and academia contributed to the report, the most in-depth study of its kind to date.

Stadiums around the world remain empty, with most sports canceled in response to the coronavirus.

The UNODC points out that although corruption in sport is far from a new phenomenon, with fraudulent activities existing since the ancient Olympics, there would be a “substantial increase” over the past two decades.

Unsplash / Anastasia Chepinska

Stadiums around the world remain empty, with most sporting activities canceled due to the coronavirus.

Globalization, the massive influx of money, the rapid growth of legal and illegal sports betting and advancements in technology are making sport increasingly attractive to criminal networks who seek to exploit it for profit, the report says. .

The study also analyzes the role of illegal betting, the manipulation of competitions, abuse, the vulnerability of major sporting events to fraudsters and the involvement of organized crime, among others.

Finally, it highlights initiatives that can help resolve the issue, issues related to detecting and reporting wrongdoing, and how existing legal frameworks can be used to resolve the issue.

Concrete policies

The report includes a practical policy guide for governments and sports organizations.

It calls for the strengthening of legal, political and institutional frameworks; to implement comprehensive anti-corruption policies; as well as to strengthen cooperation and exchange of information between sports organizations, crime prevention and criminal justice authorities and policy makers.

The report was released ahead of the biennial United Nations Anti-Corruption Meeting, the Conference of the States Parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption, to be held in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, from December 13 to 17.