Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013
Larceny Games: Sports Gambling, Game Fixing and the FBI (Feral House), by Brian Tuohy
Most people dismiss illegal sports gambling as a victimless crime, but as Brian Tuohy argues in his latest exposé of professional athletics, the money changing hands provides much profit to organized crime. And then there is another issue—one that hits closer to the average fan’s heart: fixing the outcome of games by referees and athletes to juice those profits. The big leagues claim such corruption is rare, but Tuohy, referencing FBI case files, sees a more sinister pattern. The leagues maintain that pro sports and gambling don’t mix (and can show rules banning the practice), but rules can be broken or ignored. Tuohy quotes several bookmakers to the effect that the big leagues love betting despite their protestations, and that a large percentage of fan interest in games comes from a financial stake in their outcome.