Lotteries safeguarding a credible and ethics-driven sport: strengthening ethical conduct in sport

Over the last years, there have been many instances of poor management and failures in organisational governance of sport organisations both at international and national level. These incidents of poor governance have further jeopardised the credibility of sport and have affected its power to be perceived as a power of good and a tool for positive societal change.

Even in the preamble of the CoE Convention on the Manipulation of Sport Competitions it is clearly stated that « principles of good governance and ethics in sport is a significant factor in helping to eradicate corruption, the manipulation and even strengthen the overall fight against match-fixing. » In the same line the EU has also considered the establishment of good governance in sport as a key priority and this is why the new EU Work Plan for Sport 2017-2020 makes special reference to it.

Lotteries have been always driven by core values, like integrity, responsibility and society and this is why they are very supportive to all measures related to good governance and more transparency in sport organisations, being in line with the spirit of the Macolin Convention.

There are concrete examples of Lotteries directly contributing to the establishment of ethical principles in sport. In the UK, the funding coming from The National Lottery is distributed by Sport England, Sport Wales, Sport Northern Ireland and Sport Scotland (for grassroots sport) and UK Sport (for elite sport) and goes primarily to national sport governing bodies. A key criterion for this funding is a certain level of good governance and transparency, based on a well-elaborated « governance strategy » (Sport England) – therefore lottery funding to sport organisations in the UK is closely connected to good governance criteria.

Also, in Sweden, recently the Swedish Lottery, Svenska Spel, concluded a new agreement with the Swedish Sports Confederation, having also agreed that the funding and financing provided is subject to criteria of good governance and transparency for the federations – members of the Swedish Sports Confederation. In fact, Svenska Spel has been already cooperating with the Swedish Sports Confederation for more than 5 years to safeguard the integrity of sports.

Beyond connecting the funding with ethical conduct, EL recently adopted the CSR Guidelines, which call upon Lotteries-EL Members to put in place processes, systems, structures, or other mechanisms that make possible to apply principles and practices of social responsibility within the Lottery governance and decision-making. At the same time, under these guidelines, Lotteries are invited to integrate ethical, social, environmental, human rights, gender equality, non-discrimination, and health and safety criteria in Company’s purchasing, distribution and contracting policies and practices.

EL Secretary General, Arjan van’t Veer states on the matter « EL Members beyond setting an example in terms of responsibility and transparency, seek to establish a culture of integrity and transparency in sport and beyond. Especially in sport, we see that many Members of EL have taken in serious their responsibility towards ethical conduct in sport. Establishing good governance is indeed a key issue, as also highlighted by the EU Work Plan for Sport 2017-2020, and EL and its Members will continue their efforts for an ethical, transparent, values-driven sport. »

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