France’s Fight Against Sports Manipulation Ahead of the 2024 Olympics
On October 5th, the Minister of Sports and Olympic and Paralympic Games attended a presentation at the National Gaming Authority regarding the monitoring system for sports manipulation during the Rugby World Cup, just before the France-Italy match.
At this stage of the competition, which has seen 75 million euros in bets placed in France, no suspicion of manipulation has been observed. Additionally, the ANJ (National Gaming Authority) outlined its efforts at both the national and international levels to combat match-fixing, including its role in presiding over the Copenhagen Group.
To mitigate the risk of manipulation, the ANJ’s board determines which competitions are open to betting and which types of bets are permitted. Competitions of very low-level or easily manipulatable bets, such as “Player X will receive a yellow card in a match,” are not open for betting in France. Furthermore, all data from online operators are recorded, enabling the ANJ to detect unusual bets or abnormal odds. If there are serious and consistent signs of manipulation, the President of the ANJ can decide to prohibit betting on a competition, aiming to protect honest bettors and thwart manipulators. In most cases, such decisions are communicated within the international network of national platforms combating sports competition manipulation.
The ANJ can also inform members of the surveillance board of observed anomalies so that relevant authorities can take legal action if necessary.
National Platform for Combating Sports Manipulation
Established in January 2016, the national platform for combating sports competition manipulation is chaired by the Minister of Sports and comprises two sections: a prevention section under the responsibility of the Director of Sports, and a surveillance section led by the President of the ANJ. The platform convenes once every quarter and has dealt with 76 notifications since January 2023 (compared to 143 notifications in 2022). The French platform handles alerts for competitions open to betting in France (as per ANJ’s authorized competitions list) or competitions taking place within national territory.
The Law of March 2, 2022, aimed at democratizing sports in France, officially incorporated the national platform for combating sports competition manipulation into the Sports Code.
Strengthening the Fight Against Sports Manipulation Ahead of the 2024 Olympics
With France’s ratification of the Macolin Convention on international surveillance in June 2023, the Minister announced the imminent publication of a decree to organize the national platform. She also reaffirmed France’s commitment to intensifying the fight against sports manipulation, especially in preparation for the 2024 Olympics. Cooperation between the ANJ and the COJOP (Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games Organizing Committee) will focus on “education and surveillance.” The ANJ will participate in initiatives to raise awareness among volunteers about betting restrictions and reporting procedures in cases of potential manipulation.