Still not seeing the “corrupt.” Just you dudes yelling at clouds. :)
And lemme put it to y’all like this: if you’re watching and enjoying big time college football or the NFL, you have already made a leap over some morality thresholds where wagering on game outcomes probably isn’t in the top tier of ick-factors.
There was probably a TON of corruption in it for a number of decades. I think that technically within the United States there were a handful of sports books in Las Vegas and Reno and Atlantic City where it was legal to bet on sporting events. And so there was a lot of folks using go-between networks to place bets (and pay a super-huge premium vigorish to do so.)
Or, it was local organized crime groups running their own in-house syndicates and books. And using their own premium vigs on bettors. And they tended to have particularly unpleasant collection departments.
Folks are going to bet on sports. It’s an incredibly popular activity. It (and I’m being honest here) really isn’t my thing. I get it, for sure. But it isn’t really for me.
But I know people will bet on sports. And it’s impossible to legislate it away. That seal’s been broken. So instead of legislating it away, a lot of states that allow gambling are being proactive about it. A friend who works in NY for an in-house group that reports on gambling and sports books in the state there sent me the proposal to add a bet on Aaron Judge hitting 60, 61, and 62 (or more) home runs. The proposal had to be approved by the state’s gaming board. It was more than 200 pages spelling out how the wagers would be constructed, how the odds and payouts would be calculated, with risk tables all over the place, for both the bet-takers and the bet makers.
It got approved. And that is the sort of regulation transparency that exists now in sports gambling that wasn’t present beforehand, when the networks used to threaten Al Michaels with discipline for his winking sort-of metions of point spread covers on NFL broadcasts.
I would say that – like anything that people do to make money, whether it’s stock or commodity trading, real estate, collectible dealing, etc – there’s going to be folks trying to get away with cheating. Maybe they will get away with it, at least for a bit. But the wild west days of sports betting are coming to an end, if it isn’t over already.
Personally I don’t know if that would be true. As gambling grows and the financial stakes get higher, I think it will get worse. Why? The disparately between player pay in leagues like the NFL is incredible. There are over 41 players making the league minimum of ~$600,000 per year. Considering any day, any game an individual can see their career destroyed either by injury or being cut, this puts each year’s salary critical. How does that individual feel when he looks over at Patrick Mahomes who’s making 75x what they are at $45 million per year?
Helping to throw a game or even the point margin could potentially land them more money than their salary pays. And they may feel they deserve it putting their health on the line every week. Grand most of these players may not be in a position to throw a game, but plenty are such as punters. Some punters make a great deal of money, and many barely make over league minimum.
It would be really hard for a single player to throw a football game unless they were playing a major role on the team. And most of those guys do better than the minimum.
Basketball is probably the easiest game for a single player to throw but they make pretty good money. And even then unless you are an impact player you couldn’t do much or probably even get offered that much.
I’m a annoyed by all the sports gambling commercials we have on TV in Canada now. Also by the segments during the games that look like regular commentator analysis but ends up being something promoting whatever gambling thing they’ve got going on.
There was that basketball ref scandal due to gambling, so it doesn’t even need to be a player.
This is the definitive account of how Tim Donaghy conspired to fix NBA games – and how, in so doing, he unwittingly enriched an array of gamblers to the tune of likely hundreds of millions of dollars.
Proponents of sports gambling legalization have long argued that regulation leads to transparency, which helps root out game-fixing schemes. But there is much evidence to suggest the opposite. As economist Wladimir Andreff of the University of Paris has written: “All economic analyses conclude that the more money there is inflowing to sport, the greater the sport corruption.”
…and yet the Donaghy scandal predates the SCOTUS ruling from May 2018 that allowed states to implement sports gambling. I even mentioned it upthread:
That being said,
Having read the chapter in Andreff’s book on match-fixing and corruption in professional sports…even he notes that the situations he details are organized crime-related “books” and gambling syndicates instigating the crimes, the most serious and recent of which appears to be the 2011 and 2012 match-fixing scheme in Italy’s Serie A.
What’s of more interest to me in professor Andreff’s treatise is that he notes right away: sports gambling isn’t going anywhere, and one of the main purposes of his work is to bring to light the circumstances and consequences that followed from scandals with organized crime and gambling in the past so that sporting organizations can be aware and guard against it. And to suggest ways/regulations by which sporting administrators can work to prevent (or at least lessen the occurrence of) sports gambling scandals.
I don’t (yet) see evidence that corruption increases in sports with legalized gambling. The latter feels like a constant that comes with the territory and is inextricably linked with the former.
One other thing to understand about legalized sports gambling and commercials for it and such: right now those legal, online betting operations are really the main thing helping to keep live, big-time sports on free OTA television. And maybe someday even on non-premium cable, as Netflix and Prime and Apple+ enter the space with bids to bring live sports to streaming.
Basketball Illuminati has had a couple of episodes with Sean Patrick Griffin, who wrote the book on the Donaghy scandal - turns out that even though they filmmakers talked to Griffin for the doc, they went a bit off script from what Griffin reported.
I just want to add to the general tenor of this thread so far in that I’m not sure whether sports gambling will be corrupt, but I’m just annoyed by how it’s suddenly in my face so much with all these commercials and mentioned by the commentary teams. I realize Britain has had sports gambling forever, but back when I used to watch Premier League regularly, none of the commentary ever mentioned it, there were no gambling commercials, and so it wasn’t in my face.
The politics of legalization of sports gambling around here is corrupt. Sports betting itself is just exploitative, like everything else.
Because dudes who spend hours and hours and hours watching sports on TV all think they’re great experts on sports and that they know what “should” happen, but they’re all wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong and they never learn. Their expectations almost always are actually hopes; they want some particular team to win, and with their affected expertise they make up reasons why that will happen. When their hopes are dashed and their expectations thwarted, they often say that the outcome is “bullshit” — what the fuck does that even mean? It’s what happened! It’s reality!
Oh, and they pray. They actually think that a god will care about the outcome of a sports contest, and that their desires regarding that contest are so strong and RIGHT that a god will intervene on their behalf. And they talk about how Team X “deserves” to win, as though this is a real thing that will affect the outcome. And they think the power of their fan faith somehow gets transferred to their team. They’re magical thinkers.
All of which adds up to “sports fans are suckers and are the last people in the world who should bet money on sports.” No one should bet on a sports outcome unless they somehow simultaneously 1) really are an expert and 2) don’t personally care about said outcome.
There’s also the whole gay locker room fantasy side of this, but that’s not for me to judge.
Fantasy sports and sports gambling gives people reasons to watch games they might not otherwise watch and in particular keep watching even if the actual game is bad. So networks are leaning into them to try and shore up viewership.