What Do You Think Should Be Done to Stop Match-Fixing?

Is it any surprise that match fixing occurs?  Every year countless billions are wagered on sports around the world.  In 2011, $3.2 billion was wagered on sports… in Nevada casinos alone!  Just online sports gambling in England, France, Italy and Spain equals about $15 billion.  Between legal and illegal (or casual) gambling, we are talking many, many, MANY billions of dollars worldwide.  This magnitude of money attracts a lot of people and companies – and not all of them are upstanding.

It probably isn’t too hard to fix matches.  All you need is a married footballer, beer and a prostitute willing to record her “encounter” with the footballer.  The footballer even pays for their own beer!  Awesome!  All the match fixer needs to recoup is a few thousand dollars of prostitute expenses and that’s pretty easy: Just suggest to the footballer that the video will be released to the footballer’s wife if he demonstrates any sort of first-touch in a key game next month.  The bonus is that now that football is a proven womanizer AND a match-fixer.  You’ll own him for the rest of his career.

The question is probably why doesn’t this happen more often.  The logical conclusion is that the only thing holding back match fixing is the knowledge that other shady individuals are compromising other footballers and that they might cancel each other out.  Gah….it hurts my brain and I’d rather not even think about it..

Perhaps a better question is: “What do we do about it?”  Common solutions are usually things like player education and increased law enforcement.  Neither is likely to be effective because that’s what we do now and it doesn’t work very well.

Here’s an idea: How about enlisting the services of those who are economically screwed by match fixing?  No, I’m not talking about the clubs.  Real Madrid recently topped Deloitte’s “Money League” with ~$660 million in revenue.  Yawn….small potatoes…..  I work at a moderately sized U.S. medical center that generates about four times as much revenue as Real Madrid.  These clubs are really small concerns from a financial standpoint.

Did you see those BILLION numbers at the top?  Legal sports gambling operations are the biggest losers in match-fixing scandals.  Those operations exist on the appearance that average sports fans can win money gambling on sports.  When average sports fans decide that the game is rigged against them and that the only people making any money are the scumbags, then the average sports fans reduce their gambling.  That is bad for a legal sports gambling operation, so they have the largest interest in cleaning up the sport.

Sports leagues would be well-advised to stop treating legal sports betting operations like pariahs.   These legal operations have the biggest interest in the games being fair.  Further, these legal operations probably have some sophisticated ideas about how to catch the shady individuals who sully our favorite games.

Plus, it’s a much better idea than my second best idea of publishing the names and addresses of match fixes in the paper and letting the industry “self-regulate”.  Ha….only kidding!

What do you think should be done to stop match-fixing?

5 thoughts on “What Do You Think Should Be Done to Stop Match-Fixing?”

  1. Until I actually see proven instances with names, dates and matches my answer to your query is, “Nothing.”

    The story smacks of sensationalism, so I’ll wait on “solutions”.

  2. So long as there’s money in the world, there will be players, managers, officials… anybody connected with the game – who is willing to take money. Fact of life. Just get over it.

  3. Stan collymore told of some situations on Talksport this past Monday where he knew of players [he wouldn’t name them] that would bet 100’s of thousands of pounds between one another, even winning & loosing business’s off of one another, and this was 10 years ago.

    If and when players put themselves into positions of vulnerability by running up high six or even seven figure debt it is very difficult for people at clubs to identify these situations and stop and potential manipulation.

    He did say that in all his years he had never heard anything remotely resembling any match fixing, you have to ask tho, how long before one of these mega rich premier league players or under paid referees finds themselves in that situation where they have to contribute to fixing a match?

    I have to say I don’t have much faith in uefa officials ability to maintain integrity, especially When you see some of the decision that are made in some of the UCL and international games. Especially when UEFA use officials from countis and leagues that are not as well paid compared to other larger leagues in Europe, then they are more open to manipulation.

    Apparently Eastern European teams and officials are often targets of these syndicates, they can offer a relative fortune to get what they want. To think it doesn’t go on is quite naive. How much is another question.

    I think paying all officials used in major competitions well enough so they are more likely to resist any temptation to take any money. I also think refs should be subject to financial review by an integrity committee to ensure all is well. When you are involved in high risk business operations with intellectual property or access to various high level security information either in private business or government you are subjected to very thorough screening and background checks of yourself, friends, family and associations. It seems to me that if they really were concerned with any real issues the could quite easily implement those procedures.

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