SÁB 22 DE JUNIO DE 2024 - 23:00hs.
Khalid Ali, CEO

"IBIA is ready to collaborate and ensure that Brazil has a dynamic and competitive betting market"

Khalid Ali, CEO of the International Betting Integrity Association (IBIA), an entity that represents a group of 120 sports betting houses that transact more than US$ 137 billion in the world, granted an interview with VEJA to talk about the situation of the market in Brazil. There, he asks that, if interference and manipulation in games is proven as determined by the Ministry Government of the State of Goiás (MPGO), 'severe sanctions' should be applied to those involved.

The IBIA has closely followed the bad repercussion of the betting market in the face of the scandal involving the manipulation of games in Brazil’s main football tournaments. Ali was summoned last Monday (22) by Deputy André Figueiredo (PDT-CE) to give testimony at the CPI for Manipulation of Football Matches.

The entity's CEO says that the only way to show that further accusations of the type will not be tolerated is through severe punishment, and confirmed that he receives alerts of similar cases in other sports. “IBIA received alerts in its coverage of seven different sports in Brazil between 2018 and 2022. In other words, this is not just a football issue,” he says.

“While we need to point out that 99.9% of our member markets have no suspicious betting alerts, a collective and cross-sector effort is needed to identify and eliminate corruption and prevent the infiltration of criminals and criminal activities in sport in Brazil".

Ali reinforces the view that bookmakers are victims of system fraudsters and that they are the main stakeholders in resolving cases. “The bookmakers have every interest in cooperating and seeing the sanctions imposed. The IBIA and its members stand ready to play their part and collaborate with policymakers to ensure that Brazil reaps the full benefits of a dynamic and competitive betting market, while reducing the risks of match-fixing,” he adds.

In 2021, the entity launched a best practice guide for the market. The document points out that the loss of platforms due to cases of match-fixing around the world amounts to some US$ 25 million a year, and that cases like this can drive consumers away.

“The cost in terms of the impact of reputation on the integrity of the sports betting market is much more difficult to assess, but clearly consumers are reluctant to engage with a product they believe can be manipulated,” admits the executive.

A bill, approved in 2018 during the Michel Temer government, provided for the release and regulation of this market in Brazil but his successor, Jair Bolsonaro, afraid of causing intrigue with his base of supporters, chose not to follow through with the project leaving the segment in a kind of limbo. Today, the government of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva is analyzing possibilities for the activity to generate revenue for the public coffers.

“The regulation of the Brazilian betting market is a crucial step towards addressing integrity issues in the market, with regulatory oversight, monitoring and reporting of suspicious bets in accordance with market operators' security protocols. This will protect not only the market, but also sports and consumers, directing them to responsible companies,” concludes Ali.

Source: Veja