Ethics in Sports Betting
Sports betting entails placing a wager on an event whose results are not certain to the parties who are betting. It is a form of gambling that involves both of the participants risking against someone else’s money on the outcome that cannot be predicted. It, therefore, involves predicting the winner in a game and placing a wager on the prediction although one does not have any influence or prior knowledge of the possible outcome of the game. Ethics of sports betting is therefore the moral principles and values that guide te practice of placing a bet in sporting activities.
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Development of Sports Betting Industry
The practice of betting in sporting industry continues to gain root on the global scale as more and more fans seek to make money. The evolution and development of sport betting industry is historical. In the ancient days of civilization before the invention of the modern sports, people betted on such things as horse racing, bare-knuckle fights, and cockfighting. However, this trend has changed with the emergence of the sports betting industry consuming a huge audience on the global scale.
Presently, sports betting industry generates multibillions turnover and billions of dollars worldwide. Anyone of legal age today can place a bet in a sporting activity. The development of the sport betting industry cannot be showcased better without the reference to high profile sports betters, business tycoons, and celebrities such as Billy Walters based in Las Vegas whose victory in betting continues to stir and motivate many people. Advancement in technology has led to the increase in popularity of sports betting. This, coupled with numerous campaigns by bookmakers and sports betting corporations aimed at marketing this activity, has really brought sports betting to societal limelight.
Controversy of Players or Referees Throwing Matches to Win Bets
Controversy has set in sports with the onset and surge of sport betting activities. Sports officials, players, and fans have been equally blamed for influencing or manipulating the progress, outcome or even the organization of the various sporting activities so as to suit influential personalities in the industry (Borden, 2013). Sport betting has created a breeding ground for corruption and eroded the individual aspects of a game. For example, a referee can award imaginary penalties to a team, one after a pre-set duration or controversial penalties so as to determine or influence the outcome of the game in such a way that it matches the bets that were made by their cronies.
The friendly match between Nigeria and Argentina and the case of Bosnian referee Novo Panic in the Liechtenstein-Finland 2010 World Cup Qualifier are illustrations of fraudulent sporting orchestrated by betting. The referee and the players participated in the games with bets in mind (Bodin & Sempe%u0301, 2011). Even stakeholders like the coaches have the opportunity to manipulate the composition of a team and make detrimental changes to suit certain bets. A player can also decide to throw a win match by failing to score when in real sense he/she had all the opportunity and ability.
European soccer is a model example of how fixers seek to manipulate results through corruption (Borden, 2013). There are 425 people already under investigation in line with various bet-linked sport scandals. Individual bribes amounting to approximately $136,000 have been issued as fixers to place the bets on the already tainted matches. This is common in soccer and tennis games. Europol is involved in the investigations in crimes that have been labeled as “organized soccer crimes.”
In the U.S, an NBA referee is under investigation for betting on NBA games, including the games where he was the referee. The referee has manipulated 10-15 games putting a bet totaling to thousands of dollars. Pete Rose, Tom Donaghy and many others have been questioned as detractors of fairness and justice in sports (Thorne, 2007). These trends illustrate the need to have ethical regulations of sport betting industry. Ethics is thus essential in the protection integrity in sporting alongside betting industries.
Role of Ethics in Sport Betting
Sport betting has promoted interest in sports and simultaneously influenced sporting negatively. Values such as honesty, fairness, justice, and patriotism are quickly fading out as corruption, falsehood, malice, selfishness, and unfairness gain grip of many sporting activities. Game-fixing and other manipulations are well-documented. In the foregoing circumstances, it is imperative that betting in sports is regulated according to the ethical standards so as to abate cases of organized sports-related crime.
It can only be ethical if sportsmen, players, referees, coaches, the medics, and other influential personalities in sports are formally registered in terms of their involvement in the betting industry, their clubs, the bets they have made so that they are monitored as they participate in sporting activities (Johnson, Holdaway & Richardson, 2010). This will instill some sense of fairness, justice, and safeguard against manipulation and lack of integrity in sports. Ethical values must therefore be enforced and made real in order for betting industry to remain booming in line with ethical and moral norms. Ethically, participants in a sports activity should not be allowed to bet on the competitions in which their teams are involved or even solicit and facilitate the participation of another person in the betting on sports activities in which their teams are involved. This will limit chances of manipulation of the games by the participants in a bid to match the bet.
In conclusion, the introduction and enforcement of ethics in sport betting is long overdue. Ethical principles that guide betting should be enforced to control the integrity and enhance fairness and justice in games and the betting industry at large. Without ethical principles, fraud and corruption is likely to thrive in the betting industry to the benefit of few rich and influential personalities in the sporting industry while compromising the integrity of sports.
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