Hall of Fame
- Aug 8, 2011
Speaking from experience, the issue with problem/pathologic/compulsive gambling among those associated with the sports world is far more pervasive than most of us would believe. The gaming industry will state that issues with "problem gambling" is less than 2% of those that gamble. In reality, it is probably closer to 5% (interestingly the most rapidly growing segment is 18-30 y/o with more and more women developing compulsive tendencies). And the number of coaches, refs, and players having pathologic gambling issues far exceeds that of the general population.Are the officials REALLY worse than ever?
Or do we just have more camera angles that show stuff you didn't see 40 years ago?
I'm not talking about known cases like Tim Donaghy.
I'll note this, though: with the legalizing and social acceptance of gambling...the notion of a fixed World Series (like 1919) is far-fetched today simply because the players make so much money that it would be VERY difficult to raise the money necessary to fix the outcome as far as the PLAYERS are concerned.
But you'd only need maybe two officials in a football game, the home plate umpire in a baseball game, and one ref in the NBA.
There are far more games that give the feel of being fixed than I've ever seen.
The worst thing a problem gambler can be is "ultra competitive". And that goes had in hand with working/ being associated "with the games".
No, I don't see a big conspiracy on "rigged" games across the sporting world. But the opportunity for those involved in both "gambling and the game" are certainly there.