Portugal – All bets off in Portugal following match fixing fearsBy Phil - 13 February 2017
For the first time betting on a first division match in Portugal has been suspended after a large amount of money was placed on a game between Rio Ave Futebol Clube, and Clube Desportivo Feirense.
Details of the exact nature of the bet are as yet unknown, but local sports daily O Jogo said that a bet of €100,000 may have been placed by a Chinese player in the north of Portugal, in favour of a victory for Feirense. The bet sent warning signals to the sports betting division of state-run charity Santa Casa de Misericordia de Lisboa (SCML). Betting on the match was suspended on Monday, around 15:50 – hours before the match was due to start.
“The gaming department decided to suspend bets due to the atypical volume wagered, and the financial risk involved,” the organisation said in a brief statement late on Monday. The sports betting division of SCML (Placard) said that it would pay out for winning bets which were registered before the suspension went into effect. According to local newspaper reports, BetClic and Bet.pt, also stopped accepting bets on the match.
Local daily Correo de la Mañana reported that the Judicial Police will now investigate to see if there was an attempt at match fixing. Coaches of both teams expressed their regret that the professionalism of the athletes will now be called into question.
The news comes at a time when the sports betting market in Portugal looks likely to expand. Betclic was the first gambling operator to break into the newly regulated Portuguese market when it launched its sports betting service in May. Bet Entertainment Technologies Limited (bet.pt) launched a Sportsbook and iGaming platform in Portugal in July. Then in January this year it was revealed that SCML could soon also offer sports betting online very soon and has created a consortium specifically to explore online gaming called the Social Betting Society.