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Sports Betting Scandals

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It’s been said that few things could be worse for college or professional sports than a betting scandal. Issues with drugs, steroids or labor disputes have the potential to create controversy and alienate fans; however, few problems can be as potentially devastating than sports betting scandals. Sports are based on the concept that two sides are competing in a legitimate competition and anything that causes fans to believe that a game isn’t on the up-and-up can bring possible ruin to a sport.

The possibility for sports betting scandals to happen have existed since the beginning of sports betting. One of the first sports to be wagered on regularly, pedestrianism, was beset by allegations of match fixing in the late 1800s. Few professional sports have been able to escape without having at least major betting issue in its past. In some cases, sports betting cases have become minor blemishes with little lasting impact; in other instances, they’ve become scandals that have brought shame to an entire sport and caused fans to wonder if what they are watching is real or scripted.

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The potential for sports betting scandals to have such a negative impact has caused people in power to take great measures to protect the integrity of their sports. College and professional athletes are lectured about the dangers of shaving points or betting on games by former bookies, mobsters and disgraced ex-athletes. Sports leagues reserve some of their harshest punishments for players and coaches who are involved in betting scandals, with even some of the biggest names in sports receiving lifetime bans for their actions.

Despite all of this, sports betting scandals continue to happen. They are most prevalent in college sports, where gamblers are able to make connections with younger players who are unpaid and lured by the promise of quick money for helping to ensure that a result goes a certain way. Ironically, the majority of recent point shaving scandals have been uncovered thanks to sportsbooks alerting authorities such as the FBI that irregular betting patterns are occurring and pulling games from the board. Sportsbooks have as much interest in sniffing out match fixing as sports leagues and are in the best position to know if something is amiss.