Harnessing the collective effort of its international membership, GLMS supports stakeholders around the globe in their quest to protect the integrity of sports. While the primary membership is made up of lotteries offering sports betting and toto, other stakeholders include international and national sports federations, law enforcement agencies, gaming regulators, gaming industry suppliers. Headquartered in Lausanne, Switzerland, GLMS now has monitoring hubs in Europe, Asia, and North America. These Monitoring hubs keep a constant eye on sports betting activity around the globe and quickly share information on suspicious sports betting patterns, making a crucial contribution to the worldwide fight against match fixing. Meanwhile, the GLMS team, coordinated by the HQ, engages in supporting its members at policy-making levels, with research studies and educational and training tools.
A full-service organization dedicated to the integrity of sports
GLMS endeavors to support its members’ efforts to identify sports manipulations and to prevent against competition manipulation by enhancing their structures and helping them find their place in the national and transnational fight against the phenomenon. In addition, by providing a global framework for the systematic surveillance of sports competitions to detect suspicious betting patterns, the GLMS monitoring platform and its hubs combine automated alerts and human in-depth analysis to act as respected relay of the time-sensitive information needed to fight match fixing effectively. In addition to its monitoring and intelligence activities, GLMS provides a range of member services including strategic consulting, policy support, education and training events related to sports integrity, and actively facilitates co-operation among its member lotteries.
Through its educational activities, regulatory policy consultation, and legal advice, GLMS raises awareness of the dangers of sports manipulations, and to propagate a culture of integrity in the world of sports, in the sports betting industry, and in the minds of sports fans around the globe.
Origins of GLMS
The rise of the Internet in the 1990s radically altered the sports betting landscape. Online sports betting companies, many of them unlicensed, began to proliferate on the web, coinciding with a rapid rise in the number of cases of match fixing around the globe. By the end of the decade, licensed sports betting operators in Europe saw the need act in order to protect the industry. In 1999, they established Matchinfo, the first monitoring and information-sharing system for the sports betting sector. The European State Lotteries and Toto Association (EL) went a step further in 2005, signing a memorandum of understanding with UEFA which ultimately led to the creation of the European Lotteries Monitoring System (ELMS) in 2009.
As the global scope of corruption in sports became increasingly clear, the WLA and EL began working together in 2011 to create a global sports betting monitoring system based on the ELMS. Four years later, they achieved their objective, and the Global Lottery Monitoring System went live in 2015.
The integrity of the lottery and sports betting sector is inextricably tied to the integrity of sports, both on and off the playing field. Just as the integrity of sports is built upon a foundation of fair, honest, and transparent competition, so too the reputation of a lottery organization depends on a public perception of fairness, honesty, and transparency.
More than half of the world’s state-authorized lotteries offer some form of sports betting, so it is in their direct interests to demonstrate a material commitment to honesty and fairness in sports. If the integrity of sports competitions is compromised, a lottery’s reputation is automatically damaged and its mission of raising funds for good causes is at risk.
According to the 2019 edition of the WLA Global Lottery Data Compendium, sports betting accounted for roughly a quarter of total global lottery sales. Compendium figures also showed that WLA member lotteries returned around USD 87 billion to society in support of worthy causes in 2018. Of that, an estimated USD 4.5 billion – roughly 5% – went directly back into the sports sector. From funding grass-roots sports to supporting aspiring young athletes, state lotteries make a substantial contribution to the development of sports in their respective jurisdictions.
For lotteries and their beneficiaries, it has become increasingly necessary to protect sports betting as a source of revenue, and many governments are stepping up their efforts to regulate sports betting in their respective jurisdictions.
GLMS has always advocated for regulated and socially responsible betting markets, rather than prohibition, which would merely exacerbate the proliferation of criminal organizations intent on corrupting the integrity of sports for their own ends.
Training and education
GLMS maintains a comprehensive education and training program to support stakeholders in their efforts to detect and prevent instances of match fixing. A range of education and incident prevention modules for athletes and officials aims to instill and sustain a culture of integrity within the sports community; educational tools for law enforcement agencies are also available. Specific training for members in 2021 will address the needs of lotteries, with regard to online markets, betting sponsorship and advertising, and much more.
The organization also organizes specialized training programs and workshops to support the implementation of the Macolin Convention (see box), helping members to develop national platforms and strengthen their relationships with relevant national stakeholders, as required by the Convention. The programs also help ensure that members comply with national and regional legislation on gathering, storing and transmitting sensitive information.
The Council of Europe’s International Convention on the Manipulation of Sports Competitions – also known as the Macolin Convention – is the only legally binding international treaty that promotes global cooperation in the fight against the manipulation of sports competitions, including match fixing and illegal sports betting.
The Convention aims to prevent, detect, and sanction all forms of manipulation of sports competitions, and makes recommendations about how to fight illegal sports betting in accordance with the applicable laws of each jurisdiction. Illegal sports betting is defined by the Macolin Convention as any sports betting activity whose type or operator is not allowed under the applicable law of the jurisdiction where the consumer is located.
The Convention strives to facilitate the international exchange of data related to the manipulation of sports competitions, share intelligence on the proliferation of illegal sports betting, and promote cooperation between public authorities, including relevant government ministries, national and international law enforcement agencies and judiciaries, gaming regulators, national and international sports federations, and both public and private sports betting operators.
In November 2020, the statutory committee of the Convention, named the Follow Up Committee, admitted three observers – non-States Parties who will be able to contribute to the further development of subjects on the table- to the Committee, including GLMS. Interpol and the International Olympic Committee were the two other organizations that were admitted.
For further details on the Council of Europe Convention on the Manipulation of Sports Competitions, please refer to the Council of Europe website at: https://www.coe.int/en/web/conventions/full-list/-/conventions/treaty/215
GLMS provides a comprehensive educational and training program related to sports integrity, and actively facilitates co-operation among its member lotteries.
Owing to the COVID-19 restrictions, GLMS has been forced to adapt its educational program and move to an online format. In June 2020, for example, GLMS organized highly successful online event in partnership with the WLA and EL. The webinar, titled “Solidarity, community and alliance: Embodying a new culture of sports integrity”, focused largely on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the lottery and sports betting industry. Topics included a discussion of the status of monitoring and intelligence since the lockdown, a review of new measures in the fight against match fixing, and an update on the recent sports betting developments in the United States.
GLMS collaborated with its strategic partner, Sports Betting Community, to deliver the “Lottery Day” segment of two SBC Digital Summits, in April and in September 2020. It also participated in the SBC Betting on Sports Europe summit in October 2020. A large number of Industry leaders and GLMS members from all continents were present as speakers, including members of the GLMS Executive Committee, members of the GLMS team, and other lottery and associate member representatives.
On September 23, Ludovico Calvi and GLMS Hubs Coordinator Daniel Chan participated in an online awareness session for law enforcement and judiciary officials in the Slovak Republic, as part of the IntegriSport ERASMUS+ project, of which GLMS is a partner. The session was organized by the CSCF Foundation for Sports Integrity – a non-profit organization working to protect sports from competition manipulation, corruption, and fraud – and the Slovak National Crime Agency of the Police Force Presidium. Following up on November 9, GLMS Legal and projects manager, Cassandra Fernandes, and GLMS Canadian hub analyst, Chris Yaakoubian, participated in a similar event, hosted by the Dutch Ministry of Justice in the Netherlands. The respective national lotteries were involved in all sessions, as they spoke about the basics of sports betting, the interpretation and use of GLMS reports by law enforcement, and the value of law enforcement interaction with GLMS member lotteries at the national level. They were joined by other insightful speakers from the European Elite Athletes Association, the Belgian Prosecution Service, and experts from CSCF.
Policy making and research
GLMS goes beyond helping members identify and qualify suspicious alerts. GLMS supports its members in their sport integrity efforts. GLMS is therefo re present at Council of Europe meetings on the topic of sport integrity, becoming the first and currently only sport integrity body representing sports betting operators in the statutory committee of the Convention on the Manipulation of Sports Competitions (Macolin Convention). GLMS also participates in EU expert groups on sport integrity and gambling as well as other ad hoc groups. In addition, many members are part of or should be part of national platforms, the concept of the Macolin Convention that promotes a coordinated approach to education, prevention, detection, and sanctioning of sports manipulations. GLMS acts at a policy level ensuring the role of its members in national efforts to protect sport integrity and endeavors to ensure that its members respect the Convention in their role as sports betting operators, while addressing general sport integrity issues from various aspects. For example, at the initiative of one of our members, GLMS published its very first in-depth study in July 2020 entitled “Betting Operators and their sponsorship of sport”.
During the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, GLMS adapted its educational program to a highly successful webinar format.
The range of services that GLMS provides to its members is what makes it the outstanding organization it has become today. Its core value proposition is the monitoring and alerting system, supported by three hubs that monitor sports betting patterns around the world and around the clock. To provide 24/7 coverage, these hubs are strategically located in Europe (hosted by Danske Spil in Denmark), in Asia (hosted by the Hong Kong Jockey Club in Hong Kong), and in North America (hosted by Loto-Québec in Canada). The unique added value of GLMS’s monitoring hubs is the intertwining of their automated system with the human-analysis factor of their coordinators.
When betting irregularities are detected, the monitoring team conducts an in-depth investigative analysis, exchanging with members and relevant partners, before GLMS members are alerted. All relevant parties receive advisories ranked according to their risk level or severity. GLMS regularly publishes detailed match analyses on all major sports, and issues a monthly operational update for its members as well as a Quarterly Monitoring and Intelligence Report, made available to the public on the GLMS website.
The monitoring report for the activities of the third quarter of 2020, released in October, indicated that 452 alerts had been issued during the previous three-month period. This represents a year-on-year increase of 116%. The majority of the alerts (370) involved football, followed by basketball (34), and tennis (23). Suspicious betting activity in ice hockey, American football, eSports, and baseball was less prominent, with 13, 5, 4, and 3 alerts respectively. Geographically, Europe was the source of most of the alerts with 298, followed by the Asia-Pacific region with 80, North America with 38, South America with 26, and Africa with 10.
Communication and collaboration
Combating match fixing and illegal sports betting relies on effective communication and information sharing between legal sports betting operators and their stakeholders. To keep members up to date on the latest opportunities and challenges, GLMS regularly shares best practices and case studies, promotes members' events and projects, and flags their achievements in the area of sports integrity.
Communication objectives are fulfilled primarily through the GLMS website at www.glms-sport.org. A key feature of the GLMS website is its Integrity Info-Hub, which includes information about sports integrity initiatives and policy developments, and a database of sports betting regulations covering more than 30 countries.
In addition to the Quarterly Monitoring and Intelligence Reports, GLMS members and stakeholders receive: monthly operational reports detailing alerts of the previous month and listing potentially questionable fixtures in upcoming competitions; a monthly policy update on current activities in the area of sports integrity policy worldwide; and a monthly newsletter providing sports integrity news and highlights of GLMS events. Finally, GLMS endeavors to remain in constant contact with its membership base on a regular basis.
In July 2020, GLMS published this in-depth study on the nature of betting sponsorships in sport, and the relationship between betting operators and sports teams, athletes, and sporting events.
The sports community extends beyond national borders, so sports integrity programs and initiatives need to have a global reach. GLMS co-operates closely with key external sports integrity groups, promoting awareness through various projects, workshops, and other initiatives. GLMS also has observer status in the EU Expert Group on Sports Integrity, and is a silver member of the US National Council of Problem Gambling (NCPG). GLMS actively supports awareness programs such as the Council of Europe’s Keep Crime Out of Sport Plus Program (KCOOS+) and projects within Erasmus+, the EU’s program to support education, training, youth, and sports in Europe.
GLMS shares its expertise and knowledge within the framework of the IntegriSport and Integriball projects, both of which are organized in conjunction with the Erasmus+ training program by the CSCF Foundation for Sports Integrity. IntegriSport provides law enforcement and judicial authorities with training opportunities in the area of sports competition manipulation, while Integriball focuses on match fixing awareness and prevention training in both women’s and grass-roots football. GMLS is a partner on both of these important projects, alongside Interpol and UEFA.
GLMS President Ludovico Calvi addresses the participants at the 17th CIBELAE convention in Costa Rica in November 2019.
Becoming a GLMS member is a reflection of an organization's commitment to the highest standards of integrity. Through GLMS membership, organizations become part of a unique global network of sports betting operators, sports federations, law enforcement agencies, technology suppliers, and gaming legislators, all united in the fight to prevent and report match fixing, and to preserve the integrity of sports around the world.
As of December 2020, GLMS has 33 members from 31 countries, six associate members (suppliers and sport organizations), two collective members (EL and WLA), and one regulating member (state regulatory bodies). As the integrity of sports continues to grow in significance around the globe, GLMS has come to play an essential role as an international organization dedicated to safeguarding the integrity and core values of sports. The WLA commends GLMS on five years of growth and success, and will continue to stand by them in the future.
To learn more about GLMS please visit their website at www. glms-sport.org.
The GLMS website provides members with information about sports integrity, initiatives and policy developments, and a database of sports betting regulations covering more than 30 countries.