ILB Committee

Illegal Lotteries and Betting Committee

As illegal lotteries and sports betting operators continue to flourish worldwide, they threaten the work and reputation of our industry.

The WLA Illegal Lotteries and Betting Committee (ILBC) undertakes the important task of reviewing and developing tools and resources that help member lotteries maintain territorial integrity with stakeholders around the world.

Added to the growth of illegal betting is the boom in match fixing and corruption in sport. For these reasons, estimating the size of the illegal betting and gaming market has become a key interest to WLA lottery members and the broader gaming industry.  

Project to size illegal betting markets initiated

The ILBC has taken an academic approach to this challenging issue, and begun work with the University of Lausanne (UNIL), which is preparing a position paper on the different methods used to size the illegal markets.

A workshop is planned for early 2024. Its aim will be to gather diverse stakeholders interested in this topic and involved in the global effort to fight illegal betting, present the paper, and decide next steps for developing a tool for sizing the illegal markets.

WLA expands global partnerships

WLA works with diverse partners, exchanging intelligence, across the lotteries and sports betting ecosystem in the global fight against illegal betting and other related illicit activities. The ILBC continued its close collaboration with the ARF Council on Anti-illegal Betting and Related Financial Crime (ARFC), to maintain the integrity of horse racing and other sports. The ARF comprises 29 national racing authorities and racing related organizations from across Asia, Oceana, Africa and the Middle East.

This partnership benefits WLA members, through sharing research and organizing events together with the ARF Council, and its 15 members from organizations engaged in horse racing and sports integrity, law enforcement, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), and academia.

Additionally, in February, the ARFC approved the appointment of WLA Executive Director, Luca Esposito, to the Council.

Standardized definitions for the global betting sector

The ILBC developed materials to help facilitate the work of members in relation to illegal betting and gaming markets.  

A key challenge faced by the global lottery and sports betting industry is that betting regulations may vary in different countries and there is no standardized indication on whether a service is legal or illegal.  

Against this backdrop, the ILBC produced a document of standardized definitions that clarifies different types of gaming and betting operators, which is also used by the WLA Executive Committee. The Committee has nonetheless noted that each jurisdiction must be assessed individually, and in the continually evolving digital gambling sector, these definitions must be regularly reviewed and amended where necessary.

Protecting IP of multijurisdictional games

The ILBC has developed a best practice guide for protecting the IP of multijurisdictional games. The guide describes the different multijurisdictional games in Europe and North America, including the IP ownership of each and provides a list of measures to take by the trademark owner, in case of infringement.  

The guide also offers a section on the protection of individual lottery trademarks, and is useful for lotteries that may be considering the option of participating in multijurisdictional games.

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