by making judgments that disproportionately advantage one side. Other pos-
sible individual perpetrators include coaches, doctors, trainers –anyone in a
position to influence performance directly. Most match fixing is undertaken in
exchange for bribes by gambling or other corrupt interests that expect wind-
fall earnings when match results go according to plan. Needless to say, sports
that earn popular notoriety for being “crooked”, such as boxing, develop im-
age problems that may linger for decades.
A second species of gambling-related integrity threat is a recent innovation,
“spot” or “occurrence” fixing
– the practice of “proposition betting” on
the timing or occurrence of discrete events that routinely transpire during
regulation play, such as, in football, goals scored (timing, total number, or
number by team) or the team or player assessed the first foul or caution, or
the time of entrance of the first substitute player, and so on.
The almost hap-
penstance, fleeting nature of the occurrence-fixing payoff moment and the
rise of “live betting” – in which spot bets may be placed as the match is being
played–makes detection and policing particularly difficult. Meanwhile, illegal
gambling syndicates are becoming increasingly adept in the deployment of
advanced information technology to arrange and monitor illicit bets.
The most common form of occurrence-fixing is point-shaving, whereby a
player deliberately fails to take advantage of a scoring opportunity or actively
causes mistakes or fouls to give the opponent an advantage. Officials may also
conspire to facilitate point-shaving, as did American professional basketball
referee Tim Donaghy before he was caught and imprisoned in 2007. Donaghy
influenced point spreads by, among other techniques, selectively awarding
(or failing to call) fouls. A recent instance that caused uproar in international
cricket circles involved two Pakistani bowlers, who were alleged to have deliv-
ered “no balls” at predetermined moments in test matches during their 2010
tour of England. Although the no-ball penalty of a run added to the opposing
team’s score is unlikely to affect the final result, the event compromises the
match’s uncertainty and provides opportunities for defrauding bookmakers.
GUARDING THE GAME Preserving the Integrity of Sport
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