Wagering on Veldhoven’s Bermuda Bowl

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On the occasion for Veldhoven World Championships, the Bridge has been put for the first time in list by two important online betting companies: Unibet and Paf. It was possible to wager on Bermuda Bowl winner, and the Italian Team was favourite by bookmakers. On October 16, the Italian Bridge Federation (FIGB) published on official site the news that one of ‘our players’ hurried up to bet on Italy before the odds could lower, and the same – to bet crafty at once, avoiding the danger of a lower odd – were done by the author of the article, in Veldhoven on behalf of the FIGB. 

We asked ourselves why on the earth the FIGB would make public such a bit of news. The FIGB is associated to CONI (the Italian Olinmpic Committee), then they ought to observe the CONI’s code of sportive behaviour, which states:

“It’s forbidden to members of professional and higher level non professional sector, to bet or to book bets, directly or indirectly, on results of events organized by the Associated Branches”.

Then we asked the FIGB’s Commissary, Mr. Marcello Marchioni, to clear the question. Enrico Paolo Garrisi, member of Neapolitan Club Staff, so wrote to him:

 Dear Mr. Marchioni,

The FIGB represents a Branch of a recognised sport [Disciplina Sportiva] associated to the National Olympic Committee (CONI: Comitato Olimpico Nazionale Italiano). The CONI’s National Council, in the Deliberation 1410 of 2010 May 19th, at art 1.2, stated as follows:

‘The principles enunciated in the subsequent articles have to be applied by statutes of the… Associated Branches…’

And, in facts, the article 15 of FIGB’s statute acknowledges it:

“…The members must comply with the Sportive Behaviour Code stated by CONI’s National Council.”

The same CONI’s Deliberation 1410, quoted above, rules at art. 16.2:

It’s forbidden to members of professional and higher level non professional sector, to bet or to book bets, directly or indirectly, on results of events organized by the Associated Branches…

The matter of betting is also specifically treated in the Code of Ethics that the Executive Board of International Olympic Committee (IOC) released in Acapulco on 2010 October. At §A.5 (Dignity), the Code rules as follows:

‘All forms of participation in, or support for betting related to the Olympic Games, and all forms of promotion of betting related to the Olympic Games are prohibited.’

So shouldn’t be doubts that betting is strongly prohibited by all the three ruling bodies, from the highest, the IOC, to CONI and to FIGB. On the contrary, the online editorial of FIGB, on 2011 October 16th, so reported from Veldhoven World Championship:

‘About Italians, our players are favourite not only for authorized staff, but also by bookmakers that, at this moment, offers Italy at 2:1, USA1 at 3,5, The Netherlands and Sweden at 7, and USA2 at 10. I and one of our players already saw to bet something on Italy winning. It’s common thought, in fact, that the odd should lower very soon.’

The questions is: shouldn’t just the FIGB protect its athletes? How is possible that downright the Federal Site would cheerfully invite to an unlawful behaviour?

This mail will be published on my blog, Neapolitan Club, together with your kind possible response.

Best regards.


We still didn’t receive response, but in the meantime we have cleared something by ourselves. The WBF (World Bridge Federation) few days ago has published the following regulation:

 Anti-Betting Regulation. It shall be a violation for any player, team captain or official, or any other persons associated with or related to a player, team captain or official participating in any WBF event to wager on the results of any such event or part thereof. Any violation will be subject to charges to be presented to a hearing before the WBF Disciplinary Commission.’


November 30, 2011


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