Betting scandal: in Brazil they sentenced the 8 soccer players involved

The online betting corruption scandal that is shaking Brazilian soccer is beginning to worry Argentine soccer. In the neighboring country, eight players from different first division clubs were found guilty of manipulating gambling actions in exchange for money.

Among them is the Argentinian Kevin Lomónaco, who acknowledged having deliberately received a reprimand in exchange for 70,000 reais (approximately 13,000 dollars), of which he claims to have received only 30% and for which he was harshly sanctioned by the Superior Court of Justice. Deportiva de Brasil, so he will not be able to play for 380 days and will also have to pay 25,000 reais as an economic fine.

It is expected that as a result of this scandal, the Brazilian Congress will introduce a stricter regulatory framework for online gambling activity this year.

In any case, although the focuses are on the higher categories, according to experts on the subject, the lower categories tend to be more permeable to this type of situation, due to the economic deficiencies of the players.

The journalist specialized in “fixing” matches by the bookmaker network, the Canadian Declan Hill, assures that “Brazil and Argentina have been a good mine for match fixers, especially level 2 (due to Promotion) and below”.

Latin America is today one of the main markets for betting houses, more permeable legislation and soccer with a large international audience but cheaper to corrupt make soccer in this part of the world a more than tempting market.

Today betting is being watched more closely in Europe, once the main market for this industry. In Spain and Italy they are already suspended by law.

Hill explains why the minor categories are more permeable to fixing. “Footballers, coaches and referees don’t get paid a lot of money. There is a rule for predicting fixing. You can predict the relative risk of match-fixing by dividing the total amount of bets placed on a league or team by the average salary of the players .

For example, in Uganda, soccer players are lucky enough to get $2 per game. Ten years ago, that was not a problem. However, now that the international gambling market has discovered Ugandan soccer, there are huge amounts of fixing. The same happens with the Ascent in Argentina”.

The cases detected in Argentina

In fact, it was in the domestic promotion where the greatest number of cases of corruption due to gambling were detected up to now. Just remember the cases of El Porvenir, Villa Dálmine or Puerto Nuevo, where the same players admitted that they were tempted with money to “go back” in a certain match.

The case of El Porvenir was one of the most emblematic since a bookmaker was a kind of manager of the club at that time. The event ended with seven players sent off and caused an earthquake in the leadership of Gerli’s club.

Sports betting has been legal in the country since the end of 2021 and sooner than later the first suspicions began to appear for clubs or players allegedly involved in this type of business.

Although there are several complex cases, the most resonant is that of Milton Leyendecker, a footballer sent off 8 minutes into a match.

In a confrontation between Agropecuario and Boca for the Argentine Cup, the defender violently hit Exequiel Zeballos, Xeneize striker. Immediately afterwards, the suspicions began for such an early expulsion in a game like this. After the departure of the striker from Boca and the confirmation of his injury, a fracture in the back of the tibia, doubts grew.

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Justice for “Mass Events”

For this reason, from the Specialized Prosecutor for Massive Events, in charge of Dr. Celsa Ramírez, an exhaustive review began. In addition, the Judicial Investigative Corps of the City Public Prosecutor’s Office and the Federal Police accompanied the investigation.

The hypothesis is that the footballer has sought expulsion to “jump the bank” against those who bet on a red at the start of the game. However, he denied these versions: “he is completely crazy.” However, it is not the first great suspicion registered in Argentine soccer.

In another case, a Quilmes leader targeted one of his players. After the so-called “beer” club lost 2-1 to Nueva Chicago, Gustavo Serruto, a member of Quilmes, wrote on his Twitter account: “You have to do self-criticism, obviously, you don’t have to sell yourself in bets like against Chicago, You don’t have to bring mines to the concentration, the leaders don’t have to go and take the fernet out of the room, etc, etc, etc”.

A few days ago, the player Rodrigo “Chiqui” Moreira had harshly criticized the club’s leadership in a radio interview with Deportes en FM: “We claim to be the biggest club in B Nacional and we are not supporting it. In sports we failed , but also the leaders”.

It is presumed that Serruto, who later deleted his tweet and limited access to his account, upset with Moreira’s statements, put a cloak of suspicion over that match in which Nueva Chicago, which had gone 17 games without winning in the tournament, ensured permanence in the category.

Online sports betting

The sports betting business is growing more and more and becoming more visible to the general public. By dint of publicity, bookmakers and sports betting itself are becoming legitimized among fans.

Today it is impossible to watch an Argentine soccer game without a speaker or commentator advising the viewer to “show” what they know by betting online.

But all that business has its main players. By law they must be a national partner with a foreign partner, national partners are the same as always, those who have dominated the gaming sector for years.

The Buenos Aires and Buenos Aires governments agreed to grant a 15-year license to multinationals that had to associate with local operators to operate in their territories.

BetWarrior (BinBaires and Intralot), Bplay (Boldt and 888), William Hill (Bingo Moreno and William Hill), Bet365 (Bingo Berazategui and Bet365) and PokerStars (Atlántica de Juegos and Stars Interactive Limited) were the first in a list that promises stretch: today there are already more than 150 houses registered for the activity, although not all are active.

They sponsor the national team and the league

A separate paragraph deserves for the two bookmakers that sponsor the Argentine National Team, BetWarrior and the Argentine Professional Soccer League, Bplay.

BetWarrior, from the Achával group that also manages the Palermo Hippodrome together with Binbaires and a foreign partner (mandatory by law) called Intralot International, from Greece.

BPlay, from the Boldt company of the Tabanelli family together with 888 Holdings. Boldt, is one of the main gambling operators in Argentina with political contacts and good harmony on both sides of the gap.

In addition to having businesses in the game, they are dedicated to real estate development, telecommunications, fine processing, and road surveillance, among others. Its international partner, based in the Rock of Gibraltar and of Israeli origin, was recently investigated for money laundering from its clients in the Middle East, this scandal led to the resignation of its CEO.

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