Brazilian gamblers mobilize to manipulate Craque do Jogo

Belgian Kevin De Bruyne said he doesn’t know why he received the “Man of the Match” award from FIFA for the match between Belgium and Canada, yesterday (23). “Maybe it was because of my name,” he told a post-match news conference. But the answer may be far from Qatar.

The choice of De Bruyne, in popular voting on the FIFA website, coincided with a movement of Brazilian gamblers who realized that, using recurrent tactics in reality shows like Big Brother Brasil, it was possible to manipulate the poll. At the same time, they could earn money on betting sites that accepted guesses about the star of the match.

The report had access to exchanges of messages involving matches from yesterday’s (23rd) and today’s (24th) round. Hitting the four bets of the day combined, they could multiply gains by up to 300 times — whoever bet R$ 10, would take R$ 3 thousand at the end of the day.

The names chosen in these messages were Shaqiri as the star of Switzerland vs Cameroon, Valverde as the best of Uruguay vs South Korea, Cristiano Ronaldo as the highlight of Portugal vs Ghana, and Neymar for Brazil vs Serbia.

Several profiles shared guidelines on how to use incognito browser tabs and use more than one device to vote as many times as possible in the window that runs from the 60th to the 88th minute of each match. The winner is announced after the final whistle and receives a trophy sponsored by the Budweiser brewery.

On the day the UOL accompanied the mobilization, it did not work. Goalkeeper Sommer was man of the field in the draw between Switzerland and Cameroon, saving the European team on several occasions, and Richarlison took the prize in Brazil 2 x 0 Serbia, after scoring twice.

At least one of the sites where it was possible to bet on the game’s star player has already removed this option for the matches on the 25th.

How it works?

Comments about the attempted manipulation gained momentum yesterday on social media and it was noticed by bookmakers. The indication of this is that the odds fluctuated according to the number of bets, so as not to “break the bank”.

Here, it is worth an explanation for those who are not used to the term. Bookmakers cross various data to calculate the chance of something happening in the sport. Whoever bets on the most likely number and gets it right will win less money than whoever bets on an outlier number and gets it right. An odd of 2.0 pays BRL 2 for every BRL 1 wagered. This ratio is adjusted by bookmakers both before and during the sporting event, depending on the number of bets and what is happening in a game.

On social networks, bettors reported having taken odds of 8.0 for the prize for Valverde on Bet365. Before the ball rolled, the odds had already dropped to 4.0. The same happened with Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar. The first to join the mobilization got odds of 3.75 for CR7 and 3.50 for the Brazilian. Before the ball rolled for the Portugal game, they had already dropped to around 2.2 on both Bet365 and Betano. If Neymar won, whoever made the match bet would win R$ 5 for each real bet.

The report of UOL only identified in these two houses the possibility of betting on the man of the match, which is different from the standard of sports betting. The logic is that there is no influence from the bettor on the object of the bet, under the risk of manipulation. In case of Man of the Matchwho chooses the winner is also who has access to the possibility of betting.

O UOL contacted Betano, via the press office, but did not receive a response until the publication of this text. When it does, the text will be updated. Bet365 had no representatives located for comment. The report sought FIFA in Qatar to position itself and will update as soon as a response comes.

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