CPI investiga manipulação de jogos de futebol
Imagem: Agência Senado / Jefferson Rudy

To combat game manipulation in Brazil, it is essential to have cooperation between public bodies and sports entities. This is a strategy defended by members of the Public Ministry of Goiás (MP-GO) during a session of the Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry (CPI) on the Manipulation of Games and Sports Betting (CPIMJAE).

Last Tuesday (11), the session presented and discussed the advances and challenges in combating specific crimes in Brazil.

The work of the CPI on Game Manipulation

Therefore, CPIMJAE (CPI for Manipulation of Games and Sports Betting) emerged to confront and uncover manipulation in games and sports betting. Immediately, the main focus of this commission is Operation Maximum Penalty.

This investigation is where an entire scheme of result manipulation in Brazilian football matches is being investigated.

Thus, the requests for the hearings (REQs 11/2024 and 14/2024 – CPIMJAE) were presented by senators Jorge Kajuru (PSB-GO) and Romário (PL-RJ), respectively president and rapporteur of the CPI.

Then, in the session, the attorney general of the Goiás MP, Cyro Terra Peres, and the prosecutor Fernando Martins Cesconetto, member of the Special Action Group to Combat Organized Crime (Gaeco), were heard.

Asked about the best structure to combat manipulation in sport, Cyro Peres suggested the creation of a national platform. “I believe that if we created, as already exists in other countries, a kind of national platform.

With it, we could detect, repress and punish this type of incident, with the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Finance, Public Ministries, Federal Police, Civil Police and sports entities. This would make the information flow quickly and reach authorities with the capacity to investigate.”, stated Peres.

The prosecutor highlighted that Brazil is preparing to crack down on sports manipulation, but is not yet fully ready. However, he highlighted recent advances in legislation, such as the regulation of sports betting by Law 14,790 of 2023, originating from PL 3,626/2023, approved in December 2023 by Congress.

Bookmakers most affected by manipulation

Senator Eduardo Girão (Novo-CE) asked about the involvement of bookmakers in manipulation schemes, while Romário asked about the existence of complaints made by these companies.

The deponents stated that the bookmakers are victims of manipulation, but even so they did not make any complaints.

In just one round, bettors made a profit of R$712,000 from manipulation in five games, to the detriment of a sports house, which did not report the irregularities. Prosecutors mentioned Bet365 and Betano as the companies most affected by the manipulations.

For Cyro Peres, bookmakers are “disinterested victims” who already consider possible losses in the cost of the business. He suggested the approval of a rule that obliges these companies to report suspicious movements to the authorities.

“We reinforce our suggestion of an express rule that determines that sports companies have the duty to communicate to the authorities any strange movement that generates suspicion”, defended the prosecutor.

Senator Carlos Portinho (PL-RJ) demanded that the government regulate the betting law. The senator drew attention to the increase in the number of red cards in Brasileirão games.

He cited a GE report that highlights a record number of expulsions in 2024 compared to the last 12 years, suggesting that this should be investigated.

Senator Chico Rodrigues (PSB-RR) defended the holding of draws to choose the referees for the matches. The senator also questioned the deponents about the involvement of this type of professional in the manipulations.

However, members of the Goiás MP stated that, so far, there is no evidence of the participation of arbitrators in the operation.