Sporting events are a big deal in all parts of the world even though there are variations on how a sporting activity appeals to members of given demographics. This is just the reality of human culture. However, despite the diversity and difference of the elements of different sports, there is a constant that plays a huge role in all of this – sports wagering.
The World Cup, for instance, draws nearer and being one of the most sporting events of the year, it is certainly drawing a lot of attention. This piece is however mostly interested in the examination of the financial stakes pertaining to online gambling. Thanks to the spread of internet and the proliferation of online gambling operators, the online gambling market has been on a roll for quite some time now. Global sporting events such as the World Cup are a huge boost to this particular market and this is the focal point of a number of discussions about match-fixing. Case in point, in 2016, the France UEFA European Championship and the Rio Olympics had online gambling profits go up 45 percent which summed up to €2 billion.
This is not a bad thing. In fact, it is great. However, the whole thing gets tainted by the looming threat of match-fixing where the outcome of games – including the big global ones – are known or determined by ill-intentioned and money-hungry people. In many cases, these individuals target lower division teams where player salaries are not that huge and they are thus more susceptible to being bribed. Generally speaking, match-fixing has been rather rampant in the last couple of years or so. It has even gotten so bad that it not only affects the poorly published matches but even grand ones such as the World Cup qualifiers.
This kind of fraud extends all the way to other sports as well; tennis, American football, baseball and even basketball. So, can this be fixed? If so, then how?
Online Gambling Is Not the Problem
Well, I was obviously going to lean towards this fact especially because this is a pro-gambling site, but come to think of it, it is actually a true sentiment. Online gambling is a multi-billion dollar industry with hundreds of thousands, if not millions of employees and in most part, it is legal and straightforward. Even if online gambling is banned due to its reputation for tempting individuals into match-fixing, people would still find workarounds, mostly illegal ones, to wager on sports.
Many things here boil down to ethical standards that have been put in place so as to ward off sports fraud. This has had very little success since it is dependent on willingness to adhere to laws and regulations. Apparently, getting rich quickly is far more tempting.
The takeaway here is that maybe we should look at online gambling from a different perspective in order to make match-fixing nothing more than a word in the dictionary. Efforts such as the formation of anti-match-fixing conventions could be useful. Still, there might be no definitive answer to the question about what the best solution for this would be but one thing remains clear – match-fixing certainly has the potential for ruining the global cohesiveness that sporting events foster.