NBA Playoffs Clouded by CorruptionPublished May 25, 2008 by OCR Editor
With the 2008 NBA playoffs in full swing, evidence of insider trading and the rise of online betting raises the question, just how clean are this year's games?
According to federal prosecutors NBA referee, Tim Donaghy, admitted on May 16 to passing on inside information to gamblers relating to more than 100 games.
A 2006 study by Wharton professor Justin Wolfers came up with suspect findings. Prof. Wolfers reviewed 16 years of college basketball results and found that point-shaving had occurred in about 1 percent of games. It can be assumed, therefore, that similar forces are also at work within the NBA, it was then argued.
Furthermore, a gambling survey carried out by the National Collegiate Athletic Association in 2005 found that 35 percent of male athletes and 10 percent of female athletes said they had bet on college sports in the previous year. Of the 388 Division I men’s basketball players surveyed, 0.5 percent reported accepting money for playing poorly in a game and 1 percent said they had actually affected the outcome of a game because of gambling debts.
The illegality of online gambling in the US would appear to be heightening the potential for corruption in American sports owing to a lack of regulationary procedures. Even when it is regulated and legal, however, corruption clouds sports matches.
Just last week, a report released by the major tennis governing bodies recommended that a total of 45 matches played in the last five years be investigated as betting trends pointed towards insider gambling.
Online Casino Reports has covered the match-fixing scandals from the tennis world in past articles.
So with Internet gambling predicted to exceed $20 billion in 2008 and illegal betting estimated to total even greater sums of $150 in the US alone, the attraction and ease with which sports games can be influenced has never been greater.
This year's NBA playoffs, it can be assumed, are not immune.