German Bundestag strengthens sports integrity laws against match fixing

The German Bundestag (lower house of parliament) has strengthened the nation’s code on match-fixing and sports corruption by introducing new laws that make it a ‘crime to conspire to fix sporting events’.

Passing its new regulations which set tougher sentences for individuals found guilty of attempting to unlawfully influence an event, Bundestag laws may hand out sentences of up to five years for match-fixing and sports integrity charges.

“Because other measures have not worked, we have to confront such methods with the instruments available through criminal law,” German Justice Minister Heiko Maas said in a statement to reporters.

“In this way we will ensure that sports stand only for that which makes them so special; integrity and fair competition.”

The German Football Association (DFB) and Bundesliga have released statements supporting the Bundestag’s new laws, stating that the new policies will help maintain sports integrity standards.

Germany continues to be leading nation in sports integrity policy creation. Last year Chancellor Angela Merkel personally pushed the legal agenda for ‘sports doping’ to be classified as a ‘crime in Germany’.  

Germany’s regulatory stance in with regards to doping, match-fixing and betting fraud is being examined by a number of nations seeking to strengthen national sports policy.

“Any move to punish match-fixers is a welcome development for betting operators who are the intended victims of betting related fraud in sport. It is, however, vital that the German authorities also establish a modern licensing and regulatory system for betting, which brings all of the major operators within its network and facilitates partnership working and the exchange of information that is crucial to identifying and punishing such corruption,” said Khalid Ali, Secretary General of international betting integrity association ESSA.

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