Kajuru to lead parliamentary inquiry on Brazil sports betting

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Kajuru, a senator for the Brazilian state of Goiás, will be supported by Senator Eduardo Girão, who will serve as vice-president. Romário, a former footballer who won the World Cup with Brazil in 1994 before becoming a senator, will be rapporteur of the CPI.

The CPI will meet weekly and investigate complaints made by players, managers and betting companies. If it finds that games have been manipulated, the CPI will request the court system to ban the person responsible from football.

The CPI was first introduced in December. It will consist of 11 sitting senators, as well as seven substitutes.

“I’m sure that this CPI has some objectives and we will achieve them,” Romário said. “We know the problems that our football has experienced.

“Here are people who definitely want to set the record straight. They want to open the black boxes of these betting houses that exist in our country. They can understand, know better what type of manipulation has been happening and who are the authors and actors of these manipulations.”

CPI created amid match-fixing storm

The CPI has been established in the wake of Kajuru requesting Brazil’s federal police to investigate John Textor. Textor is the owner of football club Botafogo de Futebol e Regatas. This follows Textor making match-fixing allegations against the São Paulo and Palmeiras football teams.

Textor alleged that five São Paulo players in Brazil had received bribes from Palmeiras ahead of a Brazilian Championship Series A game against São Paulo. São Paulo went on to lose to Palmeiras 5-0. He also claimed to have evidence to support this.

Kajuru added that a month prior, Textor stated he had a recording of a Brazil referee collecting bribes.

Kajuru said he had sent the claims to Andrei Rodrigues, director of the federal police. He had asked the federal police to summon Textor within 24 hours. The senator also requested that Textor should bring all available evidence and recordings to support his claims.

“For me, if he doesn’t bring the evidence and the recordings, he would have to be arrested here tomorrow – cell, handcuffs.” Kajuru explained during the meeting. “Because this is hugely irresponsible, because it’s not just anything, people, it’s Brazilian football, it’s this country’s greatest passion.”

The CPI will aim to “clear up everything” by investigating complaints of sporting manipulation. It will begin work next week, with Textor to be invited as the first witness.

Brazil set to legalise gambling in 2024

Concerns over the integrity of sports betting in Brazil come amid the country’s attempts to fully legalise gambling in 2024.

President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva legalised sports betting and igaming in the country in December by signing Bill 3,626.

Brazil’s ministry of finance has since published an ordinance outlining that plans to implement fixed-odds betting. It will take place in four stages, with the final phase expected to be complete by July.

Stage one will focus on the technical, payment and security requirements for operators, as well as rules on how operators can apply for licences. The second stage will see anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing policies published.

Stage three will entail the announcement of the technical and security requirements for online gaming, while the final stage will outline procedures for the allocation of industry contributions to socially responsible causes.

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