Brazilian Soccer Betting Fraud Warrants Government Intervention

Thanks to a longstanding history of soccer betting fraud coupled with more recent actions by players, the government of Brazil is taking a closer look at the systems currently in place aimed at preventing betting scandals.

These new measures are coming in response to shocking discoveries made in May. Then, the Brazilian soccer world was rocked as it was announced that a lengthy investigation revealed a large number of players were involved with match-fixing. The fallout of that investigation is still unfolding, but it is clear that Brazil is seeking to take drastic steps in order to stamp out match-fixing of any type.

A Number of Changes Proposed

In the report released last week, which was signed by special advisor to Minister Fernando Haddad, Fernanda Cimbra Santiago, it was explained that because of “recent episodes of manipulation of results in sports betting,” the Brazilian ministry should be able to ban or suspend betting on certain events. The report pointed to both live, in-game wagering as well as wagering done before games/matches begin.

As one might expect, the report singles out leagues, competitions, and teams that have been found guilty of match-fixing, but does not neglect to mention that this oversight should be broad-reaching, covering more than those leagues and teams with a history of foul play.

A Total Ban on In-Game Betting Considered

Because many of the incidents of match-fixing came by way of live, in-game wagers, there has been some talk in Brazil that sportsbooks should ban live betting entirely, even if only for certain teams and competitions.

This does not seem likely to happen, however, as live betting makes up almost a quarter of revenue for Brazilian sportsbooks. If the ministry that oversees betting and betting regulation wishes to continue making money, live betting must continue to exist, and exist in abundance. This is where things become more difficult to manage. While most countries in Europe and South America have an abundance of leagues upon which people can place wagers, few have more leagues than Brazil. Because the umbrella of “professional soccer player” is one that encompasses thousands of people, only a fraction of them make significant money. As a result, the temptation to participate in match-fixing in order to make extra money is a very real one. How this can be changed or remedied is anyone’s guess, but further scrutiny of wagering activity is certainly a good place to start.

A more sensible suggestion that was made relates to sportsbooks requirements to report suspicious wagering activity to the appropriate authorities within a 5-day period of time. This reporting is typically followed by most sportsbooks in Brazil and across the world, but it is not presently something Brazilian sportsbooks are required to do by law.

There is little known about where Brazilian authorities will land with changes regarding how they regulate betting on Brazilian soccer, but it is evident that this is no small issue for the soccer-loving country and their lawmakers.

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