Calvi: ‘The world of post-COVID full of unanswered questions’

GLMS President Ludovico Calvi

Lottery Umbrella organisation Global Lottery Monitoring System (GLMS) has released its mid-term monitoring & intelligence report in which the impact of COVID-19 on the organisation was discussed. 

In addition to the health crisis impact, the report also touched on the implementation of awareness raising sessions which presented the role of lotteries within the sports betting world.  

These sessions, which took place on-site in both Finland and Portugal, saw the organisation represented by Sami Kauhanen and GLMS President, Ludovico Calvi respectively.

Present at the meeting in Lisbon was also local member Jogos Santacasa, with the team discussing how lotteries have a part to play within the Sports betting landscape and how sharing best practices can effectively contribute to mitigate the risks related to the manipulation of sport competition as well as concrete case studies.

Discussing the impact of COVID-19 on the organisation, Calvi stated: “The cessation of mainstream sport competitions worldwide due to the Covid-19 outbreak has created a window of opportunity for malefactors to exploit and manipulate sports betting across the globe.

“As President of GLMS, I have personally observed an extremely busy period during the last 3 months with the detection of mounting irregular and suspicious betting activities. As our sport integrity association reacted promptly to the new and unexpected threats through our Integrity Hubs in Copenhagen, Hong Kong and Montreal, together with members and partners, we have never been so busy as we have in this period in fighting the phenomena of ghost matches and match fixing.

“As a matter of fact, during the last quarter, there was an increased number of cases of ‘matches’ which never actually took place, but were promoted on the web with the goal of profiting at the expense of the unsuspecting public and betting operators. Criminal organisations have been very active since the outbreak of Covid-19, seizing any opportunity – even during a pandemic crisis – to further their illicit activities.”

The mid-term report also discussed the adhesion of new associate members, ODDSET.  Comprising shareholders in seven German state lotteries, the group was officially announced in April 2020 and is a fully licensed 100 % state-owned company. 

Calvi concluded: “The world of ‘post-Covid 19’ sport will be full of unanswered questions and economic instability for some time, placing unprecedented pressure on new revenue, cost management, and financial offsets. This scenario will inevitably create fertile ground for fraudsters seeking to exploit weaknesses and take advantage of this moment of vulnerability in the system in the ‘new normal’. 

“It is our duty to remain vigilant while strategically deploying safeguarding measures to guarantee the legality of sports betting, and to protect athletes and stakeholders across the globe.”