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Brazil debating sports integrity and regulation of gaming

21 August 2013

LONDON (PRESS RELEASE) -– Despite Brazil's ban on most forms of gambling, betting is a popular pastime among Brazilian football fanatics.

The estimated size of the unlicensed sports betting market is unknown, but exponential growth is anticipated during the World Cup in 2014 and the Olympic Games in 2016. With an intensified betting activity in an unlicensed and unmonitored environment comes a higher risk of match fixing, which is why the issues around sports integrity start coming to the forefront in Brazil's preparations to host the sporting events.

Well-regulated betting markets are key to supporting sports integrity initiatives and preventing match fixing. One example is the Joint Assessment Unit, set up during the London 2012 Olympic Games by the IOC, UK Gambling Commission and the licensed betting operators to monitor and protect the integrity of the Games in 2012. European Sports Security Association, an industry body set up by licensed European sports betting operators, works closely with the sports governing bodies to identify and report suspicious betting patterns.

"Corruptors are generally steering clear of ESSA's well-regulated and vigilant betting operators, because a perfect audit trail would be created," said ESSA's Antonio Costanzo in a recent interview.

ESSA's chairman and director of Ladbrokes Sportsbook & Racebook, Michael O'Kane, will be one of the speakers at the first Brazilian Gaming Congress (BGC), scheduled to take place on Nov. 18-20 in Rio de Janeiro. Sports integrity, security of the games and consumer protections will be at the heart of the many debates planned for the Congress.

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