ESSA Changes Name To IBIA

Jake Cooper | 06 Jun 2019

international betting integrity associationThe European Sports Security Association (ESSA) recently announced that it is rebranding to the International Betting Integrity Association (IBIA). The name change comes as part of the association’s key strategy to better reflect their role in the on going debate around integrity issues in the sports betting industry.

The ESSA was formed in 2005 as an industry-funded non-profit association. Their role was to represent sports betting operators in Europe across 6 continents. The ESSA created a monitoring and alert platform for the industry and an anti-corruption tool. These tools were designed to find and report suspicious activity across a range of betting markets. The ESSA, now known as the IBIA has formed valued partnerships with many of the top gambling and sports betting operators and together they utilise key IBIA data to penalise and eliminate corruption in the industry.

New Name Reflects Changes

Speaking to the press, the IBIA secretary General, Khalid Ali said that their new name accurately reflects who they are, what they do, and who they want to be. He reiterated that the association is fully active across 6 continents and has pointed out that almost half of the suspicious activity they have been alerted to has come from outside of Europe.

Mr Ali also pointed out that an increase in regulated gambling markets would naturally lead to an increase in corruption and suspicious activity within the industry. He feels that the debate around the integrity of the industry and the prevention of corruption in global sports is a joint effort. As such, the IBIA must evolve accordingly to align themselves with this effort.

Maintaining A Regulated Betting Market

Non-Executive Chair of the IBIA’s Board, Jon Russell, said the association’s members represent a significant part of the regulated betting market. Thus, their strategy must fully reflect global ambitions for integrity. He went on to say that sports betting and integrity should now be inseparable.

The IBIA represents major betting firms such as William Hill, Betway, 888 Sport, BetStars, Interwetten, Sky Bet and Betsson. In 2018 the association welcomed its first official affiliate member in the form of the Perform Group. The UK-based group sports media company joined and subsequently initiated the ESSA Affiliate Program. At the time, the ESSA invited any non-betting operator or business that shares its integrity values to join the program, and assist in its activities.