Gambling Probes

Two gambling probes recently in the press. The first on ESPN.com today discusses a tennis match that included U.S. Open finalist Caroline Wozniacki. In the match, Wozniacki was up one set and on the verge of winning the second (up 5-0) but apparently was injured. Her father came over to tell her that she should not continue in the match because of the injury since she could not survive the next round if she won. However, his comments were picked up on microphones, which people watching the match over the internet heard. As a result, a surge of online bets were placed on her opponent to win once the comments were heard.

The second gambling probe occurs “down under” with the Australian Rules Football League. The league has been dealing with perceptions of teams tanking late in the regular season to get a better draft pick. Now, the minister of gambling in Victoria is launching an investigation regarding the effect that tanking (or the perception of tanking) has on gambling lines. The full story is here.

Tennis gambling probes are nothing new since the investigation a couple of years ago.  Tennis has a partnership with Betfair to examine issues of match fixing in the sport.  The Australian Rules Football League probe is interesting to me because it examines the consequences of even the perception of tanking in sports leagues and its effect of stakeholder revenues, in this case bookmakers and the government.

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