NL Minister pledges fast-track reporting system to combat match-fixing

| By Daniel O'Boyle
Dutch Minister for Legal Protection Sander Dekker has moved to allay concerns that the country’s Money Laundering Act will make it harder for sporting governing bodies to fight match fixing.

In the wake of MPs querying the impact of confidentiality protocols included in the legislation, Dekker has introduced a new fast-track reporting system. This is designed to ensure suspicious activity alerts are flagged with relevant sporting bodies as soon as possible.

The questions were raised by MPs Anne Kuik, Kees van der Staaij, Rudmer Heerema, Mirjam Bikker, Michiel van Nispen, Paul Van der Laan and Sidney Smeets, who has since resigned, in the wake of an article in the Dutch press.

This claimed the Money Laundering Act, which will come into force this year, would efforts to fight match-fixing.

Under the Act, all details relating to suspected money laundering must be reported to the country’s Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) and otherwise not shared with anyone else. As match-fixing may involve laundered money, or form a part of a money-laundering scheme, this may include reports of match-fixing.

However, in his responses, Dekker said this section of the Money Laundering Act would only be triggered in certain specific situations. Suspicious odds movements may still be reported to governing bodies, as would reports of match-fixing for non-betting purposes.

However, he said, the laws may present an issue for reports of betting activity by participants in sporting events.

As a result, the Dutch government held a meeting with sporting federations, at which it was agreed that the fast-track system would be set up, in order to allow potentially suspicious activity to reach these bodies as soon as possible.

Under the system, the FIU would mark any reports of match fixing as such, so that they could then also be sent to the relevant sporting governing body.

An upcoming strategic consultation on match-fixing will outline the fast-track system further.

Dekker also pointed out that a large amount of match-fixing for betting purposes may still go undetected, as it often occurs in unregulated markets in regions such as Asia.

Online sports betting is set to become legal in the Netherlands on 1 October, after the country’s Remote Gambling Act came into force on 1 April of this year, after a series of delays.

As of mid-April, regulator de Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) said that 28 operators had applied for licences.

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