Online Sports Betting Industry Plagues by Match Fixing Scandals
Online sports betting is predicted to exceed the $20 billion mark this year, and with illegal online betting constituting approximately $150 million in the US alone, the industry’s popularity has reached a climax. However, its peaking in popularity has also caused many to ask the question of whether or not the games wagered on are fixed?
Only last week the main tennis bodies of the USA commissioned a report on the issue, which suggested that there were strong signs that gamblers were sports betting on 45 of the tennis matches played over the course of the past 5 years based on ‘inside information’. The issue was first brought to light by Betfair, the world renowned online betting website, which has become a focus for the increasing numbers of fixed matches. Since its establishment in 2000, Betfair has uncovered literally dozens of suspicious activity cases to the different sporting industries. Its interest in preventing such scandals in online sports betting has lead to investigations in soccer, horse-racing and eventually tennis.
The most public sports betting tennis scandal revolved around Nikolay Davydenko, who at a tennis match in Poland became a sudden underdog to the 87th ranked Vasallo Arguello, after scoring himself the 4th rank in the world in the French Open.
According to economist David Forrest of the University of Salford, England, simply playing the game of sports betting puts you at risk of such victimization; athletes have many more incentives these days to manipulate their odds and fix a game.