Sports & Gambling
Since the introduction of an EU competence in sport in 2009 it has become increasingly important for sports governing bodies and other organisations, large and small, to engage in Brussels. The development of a “European dimension in sport” encompasses a wide variety of relevant issues such as:
- Good governance
- Education of athletes
- Sport and health
Gambling, on the other hand, has long been an EU competence. The Commission, however, has shown reluctance in recent years to regulate in order to harmonise the myriad of national rules, or to move forward with the numerous infringement proceedings open against Member States. This may now be changing, as indicated in the 2012 Communication on Online Gambling in the Internal Market, and the gambling sector is watching with interest to see how the Commission will move forward and handle issues including:
- Non-compliance by Member States with the EU treaties
- Harmonisation of Member State gambling laws
- Combating the illegal offer of online gambling services from outside the EU
- Preventing match fixing
- Preventing fraud and fighting money laundering
- Protection of consumers, including minors and vulnerable players
EU Sports Platform
We created, and run the Secretariat for, the EU Sports Platform, a neutral and unique platform designed to enable sports associations to get a better understanding of EU and the opportunity to meet, and raise their priority issues with, EU decision-makers.
The Platform’s role is to provide information to its Members about current EU activities relating to sport. Aside from holding regular membership meetings, which give our members the opportunity to engage directly with decision-makers, we also publish a bi-monthly newsletter which is sent to a wide range of relevant sports stakeholders and participate regularly in various sports-related fora.
Contamination of Sports Supplements
We supported our client in putting together a coalition of interested parties to address the need for a harmonised EU standard for testing of sports supplements. As well as assisting in identifying and bringing together the relevant players for the coalition, we have also guided them in bringing the issue to the attention of EU decision-makers, to help them gain much needed political support for this industry-led initiative.