Are Sports Fixed?
Sports fixing has become so popular these days that almost everyone has heard about it. Sport fixing is an illegal activity through which some aspects of the game are taken under control to change the outcome of the game. Usually, a considerable amount of betting money is involved in these games, and fixing happens to change the outcome for monetary profit. If something happens in a match that doesn’t feel right, everyone immediately assumes that some form of cheating or fixing is involved.
Many popular sports with huge fan-bases have eagle-eyed viewers watching every small movement happening during the game. So, whenever something unusual or out of the ordinary happens, the people immediately blame “fixing” for it. The main reason for “fixing” a game is money and greed. During matches, a lot of people bet on different individuals or teams. Fixing occurs to manipulate the outcome of the game and change the odds to someone else’s favour. Hence, a lot of people lose money through illegal sports betting. Governments have tried banning these underground betting industries, but their business is still flourishing. Criminalizing “betting” makes the situation worse in some cases.
The Issues of Sport Fixing
Sport fixing is illegal and rightly so. Sports matches have criminal underground gambling rings where a lot of people bet a lot of money. When a person bets money on a particular event, they analyze many things, such as consider the history of the player or the team, their abilities, their wins, and losses, etc. But if the match gets fixed, then none of that matters and hence people lose all their money.
In India, sports gambling is entirely illegal except for online platforms, and still many people bet everything they have on teams that they love and then lose everything because of match-fixing. Sports gambling and fixing are very carefully related to each other. Without betting, fixing wouldn’t exist. Many people have even lost their lives directly or indirectly due to sport fixing. Even though it leads to many heinous acts, making it illegal isn’t helping the issue at all. The authorities can take specific steps to reduce the criminal activities associated with gambling, using which there will be a reduction in sports fixing.
Many types of sports in India, such as cricket, tennis, football, etc. are highly competitive, and this makes them perfect for betting, which is why there have been many match-fixing controversies surrounding these games. The Indian Premier League is probably India’s most famous cricket tournament. We have seen many reports of fixing, and many renowned players are paying the fees because of being accomplices to match-fixers too.
The BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) have even suspended five very renowned players for spot-fixing. Players usually throw a wide ball on purpose, or the batsman misses a few shots for money when a match is under fixing. Not all misses or wide balls or run-outs are intentional though sometimes players may even get wrongly accused because of all the controversies. Big names that had allegations for fixing have made the fans start to lose faith in their teams and distrust their beloved players, especially in cricket, since cricket is almost a religion for a lot of people in India. Match-fixing has become an enormous elephant in the room, and the authorities need to do something about it.
How to Fix "Fixing."
Match-fixing has grown to be an unfixable problem. At this stage, you can’t completely stop gambling by declaring it illegal. Many governments have tried and failed badly. An excellent example of this would be the US. In the United States, strict regulations against sports gambling exist. Despite that, one of the highest incidents of sports gambling occurs in the USA.
To regulate gambling and bring it under some form of management, our best bet (pun intended) is to legalize it. On the other hand, the United Kingdom has legalized gambling and has gotten such astounding results that gambling has become a significant contributor in its GDP now. The reasons why legalizing helps in reducing illegal activities associated with gambling are explained below:
By authorizing it, the government can impose better enforcement and improve its regulation. As everything will be legalized, there will be legitimate bookmakers who will cooperate with the authorities while also following all the laws and avoiding criminal activities such as betting.
Illegal betting causes plenty of problems for sports fans. Sometimes they place bets they can’t afford, or they get associated with the wrong kind of people, and sometimes it results in their lives being in danger. By legalizing gambling, this type of situation can lessen.
By legalizing it, it will be easier to catch spot-fixing as all the information will be readily available for the people to analyze who or what they should bet on next. Also, if the government regulates gambling, then it will be a lot harder to manipulate the game for monetary profit.
Legalizing gambling is simply a lot more profitable for the government instead of fighting against it. By legalizing it, they’d be able to kill two birds with one stone. They’d stop all the criminal activities and still earn a lot more through profit and taxes. Simply put, they can both regulate the gambling industry and impose taxes on it.
Gambling has been around since before history documentation started in written form. It is trendy among the masses, and there is nothing wrong about gambling. People should be allowed to gamble and have fun. Match-fixing, however, is very illegal and ruins the spirit of the game. Even though legalization won’t wholly eradicate match-fixing but regulating and legalizing it are some of the most effective steps that one should take against match-fixing. This is why governments should legalize gambling and improve laws on gambling and reinforce those laws properly.