Brazil Match-Fixing Investigation Loses Threat As Sports-Betting Measures Move Ahead

July 28, 2023
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Brazil’s special investigation commission (CPI) into match-fixing has already served its purpose and is irrelevant now that a sports-betting provisional measure has been published and a bill has been sent to Congress, according to some in the industry.

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Brazil’s special investigation commission (CPI) into match-fixing has already served its purpose and is irrelevant now that a sports-betting provisional measure has been published and a bill has been sent to Congress, according to some in the industry.

“I don't see the point of having the CPI for match-fixing because you're not going to resolve anything and it is a waste of time,” said Udo Seckelmann, a gaming lawyer at Bichara e Motta in Brazil.

The match-fixing CPI met for the first time in May, and was created after a very publicised match-fixing scandal rocked Brazilian football. It was first uncovered this February in the Brazilian state of Goias.

At this point, the CPI has called both footballers themselves and representatives from bet365, Flutter’s Betfair, Betano, Betsson, Sportradar, Parimatch and PixBet to testify. It is currently in recess with the rest of Congress.

When the CPI was convened, it was deemed at least motivating for the government to publish the long-delayed sports-betting provisional measure. Now that this has happened, its usefulness may have ended, industry representatives say.

Seckelmann explained: “I think this CPI worked in a sense of raising the percentage [of tax revenue] to be directed to the minister of sports because they can say, ‘Look, these scandals are threatening our sports, etc. So we'll have to have a centralised entity to get all the information to investigate and to sanction people that are involved.’”

Seckelmann cautioned that even in mature European markets, fighting match-fixing has proven difficult and that he does not see how Brazil could be more successful.

Arthur Lira, the president of the Chamber of Deputies, reportedly did not want the sports-betting bill handed down until the match-fixing CPI was concluded in September, to maintain more control over it.

There are now reports, confirmed by VIXIO, that Lira may encourage the Chamber of Deputies to let the provisional measure expire and that he will instead throw all of the text into a comprehensive sports-betting bill.

Seckelmann confirmed that should this be the case, the bill may grow to encompass casinos and other betting verticals. However, as Congress is currently in recess, it is premature to venture further predictions.

The developments bring to mind the words of Deputy Marcelo Álvaro Antônio, who asked at the June 27 meeting of the CPI: “How many provisional measures have expired here in the Chamber of Deputies? How many have already been rejected?”

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