28 sports betting operating companies in Brazil, 24 of them grouped in associations, expressed their concern and disapproval of the case of alleged manipulation of soccer matches in Brazil and demanded that the authorities investigate the case and punish those found guilty.
According to ESPN Brasil, the 15 companies represented by the National Association of Games and Lotteries (ANJL) and the nine members of the Brazilian Institute of Responsible Gaming (IBJR), in addition to five companies that responded independently, claimed to be victims in this case of fraud.
It should be noted that in early May, Brazilian media reported on a scandal in which more than ten players from major soccer clubs are being investigated by the Public Prosecutor’s Office of Goiás as part of operation ‘Penalidade Máxima II’ for being involved in manipulating soccer results. The penalty for such charges can be imprisonment, a fine, or expulsion from the sport.
In this context, the CEO of ANJL, Wesley Cardia, pointed out that the association “considers that the manipulation of soccer results undermines the credibility of the sport in Brazil, in addition to harming bookmakers and bettors.”
“We hereby reiterate our disapproval of the illicit actions that harm the sport, the practice of responsible gaming, the integrity of the results, and, mainly, the sports bookmakers, who are the main victims of the fraud that has occurred,” said the head of the association that groups GaleraBet/PlayTech, Kaizen, Betano, BIG/Ceaser’s Sportsbook, F12, PagBet, BetNacional, Mr. Jack, Primtemps, BetFast, Okto, Aposta Ganha, Liderança Capitalização, and Parimatch.
For his part, IBJR CEO André Gelfi emphasized that “integrity is one of the foundations” of his association and that they are open to collaborating with the investigation, although they have not yet been summoned to participate.
The association includes Bet365, Betsson Group, Betway Group, Entain (SportingBet), Flutter (Betfair), KTO Group, Netbet Group, King of the Pitaco and Yolo Group (Sportsbet.io), and Pay4Fun.
Hans Schleier, the Marketing Director of Casa de Apostas, said: “It is extremely important that those responsible are investigated, as well as all those involved in any type of fraud, whether in the sports betting market or not, remembering that the bookmakers are the ones who suffer the most.”
Darwin Filho, CEO of Esportes da Sorte, said: “We hope that the action of the public authorities aimed at criminalizing the agents responsible for these acts will have an effect so that we can mitigate these problems and prevent future similar events. Our sector, the sports betting sector, along with the clubs, are the main victims of these marginal acts practiced by criminals identified by investigative tasks.”
GaleraBet’s CEO, Marcos Sabiá, said: “At GaleraBet, we view this with extreme regret and with the feeling that we are double victims of this type of illicit acts, both as part of society, which sees its national passion tarnished and as bookmakers, directly affected by these frauds.”
Thomas Carvalhaes, Executive Director of Vai de Bob Apostas Esportivas, said: “It is important to point out that the bookmaker is nothing more than a victim of this issue. Why? Because a person who goes there and matches a result with a soccer team or a soccer player is a person looking to make unfair money over the house.”
Finally, representatives at LeoVegas said: “The manipulation of results is considered one of the biggest threats to the integrity of competitive sports. Preventing, detecting, and prosecuting match-fixing requires collaboration between sport, gaming companies, and law enforcement.”