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Fiona Simmons July 31, 2023 2 min read
Sports Betting Fraud Leads to 17 Arrests in Spain
The police say that a soccer club president conspired with players to manipulate betting results
Match-fixing allegations have led to the arrests of 17 people in Spain. The arrests were announced last Thursday and were carried out in Melilla and Granada.
As reported by the police, 11 people were arrested in Melilla, a Spanish enclave on the Moroccan coast. The remaining 6 were arrested in Grenada, in the southernmost part of the country.
The arrests followed earlier reports of suspicious betting activities in the regions. The police were warned of multiple suspicious wagers from Melilla and suspected that a local team was involved in betting fraud. As a result, an investigation was launched in February.
La Liga, Spain’s top-flight league, also knew of the suspicious betting activities.
A Soccer Club President Conspired with Players
Although the involved team wasn’t officially disclosed, some reports claim that it involved Huracán Melilla, an underperforming Spanish club.
Regardless, it was alleged that the club president conspired with players to manipulate the outcomes of sports bets. The police believe that the president and his associates used third parties to place the wagers in question so they could avoid suspicion.
To make matters worse, the police also found that the club in question was involved in subsidies-related fraud.
The police concluded that it would continue to investigate seven soccer matches. According to the law enforcers, additional arrests are unlikely. In addition, it is still early to say the total amount operators lost because of the club’s fraudulent activities.
Spain Continues to Fight Problem Gaming and Gambling Crime
Despite its intense effort to regulate its gambling sector, Spain still falls short of completely eliminating fraud. The country is currently working hard on implementing a gambling regime that protects players from gambling harm while mitigating gambling-related fraud.
In mid-July, the Directorate General of Gaming (DGOJ), Spain’s national regulator, launched public consultations on newly-proposed changes to its monitoring framework. Industry stakeholders and the public can share their thoughts on the amendments until September 7.
The changes are in line with the country’s newly introduced rules as per the Royal Decree on Responsible Gambling Environments. The regulation primarily outlines measures for protecting young people from the dangers of excessive gambling and overexposure to gambling content.
Despite the strictness of the Spanish market, the overall GGR continues to grow steadily. In June, the DGOJ posted a report on the industry’s performance in the first quarter of the year, highlighting a spectacular year-on-year growth.