The Bets invasion

The Bets invasion

The release of sports betting is a recent development in Brazil, but it is widespread in other countries. The British, for example, have a culture of betting ingrained in their daily lives. There, bets are placed not only on sporting events, but even on the new girlfriend of a celebrity. In the world of soccer, the mass arrival of online bookmakers has created a new dynamic with extremely high economic benefits. You only have to look at the fact that practically all the Serie A teams now have this type of sponsorship on their shirts. This is undoubtedly an expansion of economic freedom. 

However, this scenario also reveals a very fragile and dangerous side: vulnerability to match-fixing. The case of Lucas Paquetá, who was indicted by the English soccer league on suspicion of manipulation when he received a yellow card, offers us an opportunity to reflect on the complexity of this issue. After all, we need to analyze the player's trial, the resources used to create the thesis of the indictment, among many other aspects. 

Lucas Paquetá, a talented Brazilian midfielder from Flamengo's youth academy, has found himself embroiled in controversy after being accused of match-fixing. Suspicion arose after an anomalous increase in bets that he would receive a yellow card in a given game. The case raises important questions about how such investigations should be conducted and the dangers of prejudging based on superficial analysis.

Investigating match-fixing in sports betting must follow strict principles and clear methodologies. It is not acceptable to rely solely on artificial intelligence algorithms that analyze patterns of historical player behavior. Although these technological tools are useful, they cannot replace careful and well-founded human investigation.

To understand the seriousness of a suspicion like Paquetá's, it is essential to adopt an investigative procedure similar to that used in financial markets, such as the stock exchange. Firstly, it is necessary to identify whether there has been an extraordinary movement of bets on a specific outcome. If an abnormal increase is detected, the next step is to "follow the money" - investigate who placed the bets and trace any financial links that could compromise the player.

This method of investigation avoids unfair judgments and ensures that the actions taken are based on concrete evidence. In Paquetá's case, it is crucial that the responsible authorities examine all aspects in detail before any public condemnation. The premise of "innocent until proven guilty" must prevail in order to maintain the integrity of the sport and justice for those involved.

The benefits of the betting world must be underpinned by an anti-fraud policy. 

Even with all the possible weaknesses in the world of betting, the economic freedom provided by legalizing sports betting is undeniable. It creates jobs, collects taxes and promotes the economy. However, there is one point that I believe is the Achilles heel of this betting world: the possibility of betting on any detail. Today you can bet on whether a player will take the field as a midfielder or a striker; whether he will be yellow carded; whether he will receive X number of fouls. This creates significant fragility. This excessive possibility of detailed betting increases insecurity and distrust in the reliability of sports results.

Bookmakers should adopt stricter self-regulation, limiting the scope of what is bettable. Setting clear parameters and restrictions can mitigate the possibility of manipulation and reduce the vulnerabilities that exist in the current system. Self-regulation not only protects the integrity of sports, but also strengthens punters' confidence in the market. One way could be to limit bets to facts that really affect the history of the game. For example, the number of goals scored, the time in which each goal will be scored, whether a player will receive a red card. This would make it more difficult for players with illegal interests to manipulate these variants. After all, he can't determine whether or not he'll score a goal, or whether he'll get a red card on purpose and damage his team and career. Very different from, for example, taking a mere yellow card that allows him to fulfill the prerequisite of the bet without harming the team.

Lucas Paquetá's situation illustrates the need for a delicate balance between economic freedom and sporting integrity. The Brazilian national team faces a dilemma: whether or not to call up the player while the investigation is ongoing. This uncertainty is detrimental to both Paquetá and the team. It is essential that the English league and other sporting bodies develop a clear protocol for dealing with such situations, protecting players' rights while ensuring transparency and fairness.

Curiously, similar cases in other leagues, such as Spain's, often don't receive the same rigorous attention. This raises questions about the consistency and impartiality of match-fixing investigations in global soccer. Uniformity in investigative approaches is key to maintaining the trust of fans and players.

In short, the Lucas Paquetá case is a call for critical reflection on the world of sports betting. The economic freedom and benefits that betting brings are undeniable, but they must be balanced with strict measures to prevent manipulation. Careful investigations, self-regulation of bookmakers and a fair and impartial approach are essential to protect the integrity of sport and ensure that cases like Paquetá's are treated with the seriousness and justice they deserve.

About Author

Maurício Ferro

What do soccer, wine, law, politics, and economics have in common? Much more than you can imagine. And contrary to what the popular saying says, they can and should be debated and analyzed, yes. Welcome to Maurício Ferro's site, a channel to create and exchange thoughts and opinions. Maurício Ferro is a lawyer, graduated from PUC university in Rio de Janeiro, with a Master's degree and specializations from universities such as the London School and the University of London. He studied OPM at Harvard Business School. Author of published works in the commercial and capital markets areas, and acting in the Board of Directors of large companies, he based his legal and executive career with a focus on Business Law. But his passion goes beyond the corporate world. A passionate Flamenguista, Mauricio knows the ins and outs of the professional world of soccer and other sports. He is a partner in innovative companies such as 2Blive, a global startup focused on technological solutions to fill the education gap, especially in areas of great need such as Africa. He also invests in the Flow Kana company, based in California, and focused on the scientific production of cannabis for various purposes, such as medicinal, clothing production, or recreational use. To all these ingredients, add a deep knowledge of wine and the delicious ways of winemaking. That is the recipe for what you will find here.

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