Think you know everything about sports betting? Test out your knowledge by perusing this article about professional sports gambling scandals.
Since the 1919 World Series, professional sporting events have been an alluring draw for gamblers. Match-fixing and point-shaving are just a few of tactics used by both athletes and coaches to earn some extra money on the side. Others participated due to an addiction to gambling, alcohol or drugs. Here are four sports betting scandals that rocked the world:
NBA Betting Scandal of 2007
In 2007, tipsters alerted the New York Post that an NBA referee was using inside knowledge for bets on NBA games. Being close to the game and players allows a referee to have inside information that the mainstream public doesn’t have access to. It turned out that this referee was Tim Donaghy. The investigation revealed that Donaghy had been using inside player information, such as injuries, since 2005 to tip-off other gamblers. Donaghy used coded language when dealing with other gamblers. As a result, his wallet was $30,000 heavier. But he was also sentenced to 15 months in the pokey and three years of probation on felony conspiracy charges.
Michael Vick’s Dog Fighting Scandal
This famous football player had a dog fighting ring right on his own property. After investigation, it was determined that over 70 pit bulls had signs of severe aggression and injuries. It was discovered that Vick and his accomplices were directly responsible for brutal dog fights. This football player had a reputation for betting as much as $40,000 on these dog fights. State and federal charges were filed. Vick wound up sentenced to almost two years in prison and three years of probation. This scandal severely damaged Vick’s career, and it took years to repair his public image.
Green Bay Packers Paul Hornung and Detroit Lions Alex Karras
During the 1960s, professional athletes weren’t making six- and seven-figure salaries like today. Some even had to work side jobs just to pay the bills. To make ends meet, Paul Hornung and Alex Karras started betting on their own games. Some bets were as high as $500 a game. Eventually, the duo got busted and were suspended by the NFL Commissioner for the 1962 season. The good news is that Hornung’s checkered past didn’t prevent him from getting inducted into the Hall of Fame.
NCAA Point Shaving Scandal of 1951
In 1950, the City College of New York was crowned NCAA and NIT Tournament Champions. By 1951, they were being investigated on conspiracy of fixing basketball games. It turned out that the scandal involved several higher level educational institutions, including Manhattan College, the University of Toledo, Long Island University, New York University, University of Kentucky and Bradley University. Long Island University was forced to drop all athletic programs until 1957, and the University of Kentucky had to sit out the 1952-1953 season. To inhibit anymore corruption, the NCAA didn’t schedule any tournament games in the New York area until 1982.