Organized Crime, Doping and Match Fixing in Sports

Experts warn legal sports betting to feed match fixing crisis.

Experts Warn Legal Sports Betting to Feed Match Fixing Crisis

Competitive sports are a fascinating thing. Athletic contests, from feats of strength, to races, to team exhibitions, have existed as long as mankind has walked the earth. And for all that time, we’ve suffered the compulsion to pick a favorite – a likely winner – one we’re so confident in that some of us are willing to stakes something we hold dear upon it.

Thus is the nature of the timeless pastime we call sports betting. Sure, some of us are pure fans of the game, watching and cheering on our favorites for no other reason than our passion for the sport. But there’s no denying, a little action certainly raises the bar of exhilaration for viewers.

It’s not just the chance to win money that excites us, but the unpredictability of it all. We may truly believe we’ve picked a winner, but deep down, we know anything can happen, and it’s that uncertainty that drives the adrenaline ever faster through our veins as the game clock winds down.

Take away the unpredictability, and you take away everything that gives a sport meaning. No one will watch anymore. None will wager. The players will lose their drive. Teams will disband. Without unpredictability, sports will cease to exist.

As irrational as this sounds, it is not so preposterous when you look at the bigger picture; at what’s taking place behind the scenes all over the world. And now that the legalization of sports betting is spreading rapidly through the veins of North America, experts are becoming more concerned than ever.

Legal Sports Betting to Feed Match Fixing in Sports

For decades, the most persuasive argument against the legalization of sports betting has been the fear of rampant match fixing. It’s a foul enterprise that’s been present for ages. The prohibition on sports gambling wasn’t enough to prevent it, and now experts say the lifting of such bans could become the catalyst for the eventual demise of sports integrity.

Who are these so-called experts? They are Richard McLaren and David Howman, both speakers at the Symposium on Match Manipulation and Gambling in Sport, held in Toronto earlier this week.

Symposium Details Organized Crime, Doping and Match Fixing in Sports

Richard McLaren, a Canadian law professor and CEO of McLaren Global Sport Solutions, authored a state-sponsored report on the Russian match fixing crisis in 2016. David Howman, a New Zealand barrister, is the former director of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA, 2003-16), and current chair of the Athletic Integrity Unit.

Together, the two men described a sobering environment in which match manipulation is becoming more prominent than doping. These two factors combined are now the most alarming issues threatening the integrity of sports all over the world.

Multiple cases of match fixing have been identified in tennis for the last few years – especially at the lower amateur levels, where athletes hardly make enough money to cover their cost participation – but never so many incidents as were unearthed in 2018. More recently, a pair of snooker players were banned for match fixing and failing to report corruption. Just two months ago, a soccer referee received a lifetime ban for accepting bribes to manipulate matches.

Organized Crime Syndicates to Blame

Howman pins the problem on organized crime syndicates. “I have done a lot of work in the general sport integrity area and I can quote you what I am told by people who work in that more general business, including enforcement agents,” he said. “They all say the biggest threat to sport integrity is organised crime.”

Andy Cunningham, Director of Integrity for Sportradar, a company that monitors and analyzes patterns in sports betting, reporting its intelligence to more than one hundred governing sports authorities, accentuated Howman’s message.

“We saw it coming at WADA and I raised it during my term there as a significant issue that needed to be countered by world sport, because the bad guys involved in pushing dope and steroids are the same bad guys involved in match manipulation,” said Cunningham.

According to Interpol, an estimated $500 billion per year is wagered on sports – a hard figure to come by when it includes both legal and illegal wagering activity. Nonetheless, it presents a tasty smorgasbord for match fixers, who making untold amounts of money manipulating the outcomes of everything from the highest rungs of World Cup matches to the lowly Canadian Soccer League (CSL).

Best All Round Betting Casino For Canadian Players

Royal Vegas
Visa, Visa Debit, MasterCard, Maestro

Editor’s Rating:

4.9/5

READ MORE

phone, desktop, tablet
PLAY NOW

Royal Vegas – $1200 BONUS

What We Like:

  • $1200 Welcome Bonus
  • Trusted Casino Site
  • Over 500 Games

Available on: Android, Apple, Blackberry, Windows

Get your $1200 bonus now!

Royal Vegas is going overboard in terms of generosity and free money offers this month ! Join this trusted brand and make your safe deposit today.