Historical soccer matches are being used for betting purposes, without the knowledge of the legendary players involved
In recent years, licensed betting sites in Italy and around the world have used recorded historical soccer matches exclusively for betting purposes. These betting sites like PlanetWin365, Eurobet, Snai or Sisal present old video scenes from Serie A, soccer matches from the 1980s to the latest games. Randomly shuffled scenes based on a “RNG” (Random Number Generator) for betting purposes, thus generating millions of euros from betting customers every month. Stars like Ronaldo, Ibrahimovic, but also veterans like Alessandro del Piero or Gianluigi Buffon are just a few big names that have been affected without their knowledge until today.
But also international companies like ComeOn Casino from the UK, operators in Africa like Betking in Nigeria and Kingsbet in Uganda and even state lottery operators like OPAP in Greece use these historic games to actively generate profits.
Rights for Athletes, an organization sworn to protect the rights of both current and former athletes, has observed for several years that betting operators have been running this lucrative business without the consent of the players or the clubs they played for.
It is a fact that players and clubs are not aware that their images are being used for real money games and that they are being deprived of their share in the business. Apart from the fact that a large part of the players involved are personally absolutely opposed to betting and gambling, international law provides for professionally active soccer players not to be involved in gambling of any kind at all, which is clearly the case in this instance.
“The betting industry generates 100 billion US dollars annually. We think that these kinds of recorded football matches generate hundreds of millions of US dollars, if they don’t even break the billion mark. How much exactly is known only to the operators and local regulators. Our goal here is to educate affected athletes and clubs and for them to claim their share through legal channels.” By Mr. Kevin Alexander
Therefore, a group of international lawyers, supported by a leading UK litigation funding firm, THE LAW CENTER, is fighting for the rights of these athletes and the entities that were abused at these games. Legal action is currently being prepared against betting companies and the technology providers who are commercializing these games for betting purposes.
The group, represented by some of the most prominent law firms specializing in this field, is preparing an international class action lawsuit and will leave the fate of this matter to the courts to decide if this practice is legal and fair. In the eyes of the players and clubs, this practice is neither justified nor ethical. Litigation can take a long and hard road to a justified end to this matter, and that is what the victims are seeking – justice.
However, The Law Center’s clients, some of whom are A-list members of the international sports industry, intend this action to raise awareness of this heinous activity that benefits only a few, and demand immediate bans and compensation.
Betting companies involved in this business, many of which are even licensed by the state, “rent” the video footage and licensed technology from a third party, or rather two. Research shows that the product called “SOCCERBET” was developed in a partnership between KIRON INTERACTIVE, a South African company, and HIGHLIGHT GAMES, a company registered in the UK. Both describe themselves as specialists in such “virtual sports” games.
The SOCCERBET™ title, co-developed by KIRON-HIGHLIGHT, has even been approved by the Italian regulatory agency Agenzia della Dogande e dei Monopol. BUT – without the approval of all those footballers whose involvement is unintentional and not known at all.
The providers claim to have “broadcasting rights” for all these matches, but is this so that they can be conspicuously used for real money betting purposes? This violates the legal rights of the athletes and the clubs.
Affected players or clubs are welcome to contact The Law Center Services Ltd to find out more about their rights and options.
A court case may not bring quick justice to those affected, but it proves to be an effective platform to bring attention to such illegal activities.
In any case, it’s an interesting bet.