Should sport gambling really be legalized Essay

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The United States of America may loose almost fifty two dollars in revenue over the next decade if the Congress is not going to lift a three-year- ban on internet and tax online gambling according to certain study conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers. One of the Shanghai courts sentenced twenty people to prison because of running illegal gambling websites which were claimed to generate $ 1 billion on the football bets. Sports gambling are as old as football itself and so are its related scandals. While in some countries sports gambling are legalized in others they are completely banned.

The purpose of this presentation is to discuss if sports gambling should be legalized or not (McGowan, pp. 3). Legalization of Sport Gambling The earliest football scandal known in the last century is Chicago Black Sox that started with two key manipulators: One of these was an ex-major league pitcher by name William Thomas Barns and the gambler Billy Maharg. When these two men approached two of the players about match –fix they appealed to four of the other players and they were total of six with utility man Fred McMullin, one of the best players and Leftfielder Joe Jackson- ‘Shoeless’, the most popular star.

For Maharg and Barns to pay these eight players they had to provide them with cash. This made them look for loaners to fund the scandal. This ended up making the gamblers bet about half a million dollars on the Cincinnati Red Stockings and settled to pay the players hundred thousand dollars to split. Ultimately, the Series was played and the fix turned out as it was planned and in late 1920, the eight players were indicted. The consequences of this match-fix were unbearable because baseball suffered a near fatal blow when people realized that it was the infamous Chicago ‘Black Sox’ that influenced the 1919 Series.

It was discovered that for those who are die-hard fans, it was a blow which they would hardly recover. As a result, the Black Sox scandal started out with a few of the gamblers who were trying to get rich which turned this event to be the darkest one in history of baseball. It made the American people to lose their faith in this game which they had loved so dear (Taft, par. 1). In late 2005, in Brazil where football is considered to be everything, a scandal of match fixing emerged with two referees in the Brazil’s highest division, Campeonato Brasileiro Serie A.

These two referees were accused of receiving bribes from an illegal internet gambler in exchange of the assuming favorable outcome in the major championship matches. After launching an investigation, it was determined that both referees had been implicated in the scam. One of the referees admitted to have received about $4,400 for every fixed match. He disclosed that instructions on how the match was to wind up were received in the dressing room just before the match started, which lead to the matches getting rigged.

This was evident when a federal court ordered that eleven matches which this referee had refereed in the Brazilian National Championship revealed alterations. Sports gambling are normally done against the point spread whereby a team is considered to win by amassing many points as possible. In this case players are inclined to yield to temptation to throw the game or shave the points. How can one figure out a football team that has been picked to win by three points but on the other hand lead only by one point with less than a minute left?

Another scenario is where the team even if it is in opponent’s twenty yard line, may decide not to kick a field goal because in doing so, perhaps, might allow the other team a chance to score. In this case the coach can tell his team to sit on the ball and let time elapse making the team to win without point spread. In such case, if sport gambling was legalized, it would open a possibility and necessity of the governmental investigations and also citizens who have lost money in the bet to call for an investigation in order to examine the nature of fraud which was involved. This is true as in the case given above of two Brazilian referees.

When one of the referees was arrested and admitted that he had received the bribe on every match he fixed and disclosed how the matched fixation instructions were given in the dress room just before the match kicked off, the federal court ordered a replay of eleven matches that referee had supervised. When investigation findings were out, they revealed that there was manipulation of game results which in fact made one of the team that was denied some points to be declared the winner after this investigation. Such findings would not have been reached out without government intervention.

Several such scandals have been happening in the world of sports. It has been observed that the common trend in each case has been due to existing of large scale betting on immaterial outcome like how many combined points the two teams will score, their point spread or in a game that takes place at what they would refer as the end of a best-of- five series after one team has already won two or three games. If the participants of such games are corrupt to them, shaving the points would not be a big issue as the same team that provides minimal scrutiny of their corrupt actions still wins.

Therefore, if wagering on which team wins or loses a particular game is legalized as well ban all bets that are based on immaterial outcomes like points spreads, it would make illegal bookmakers market unfavorable and thus make sport events less corruptible. Importantly, if the government legalizes sport gambling it would open up a stream of revenue that would significantly build the economy (Evans & Hance, pp. 13) Ban on Sport Gambling On the other hand, sports gambling should not be legalized. If government legalizes sports gambling this would be a bad social policy.

Reason behind this is that any form of gambling even though it is seen as a way of entertainment, it may result to significant harm for both the gambler and those associated with it; gambling can cause bad social image and affect relationships. Globally, there has been a concern on the effects of gambling on individual’s household expenditure and other gambling related harm-like increased crime and debts among others (Evans & Hance, pp. 13) In the religious sense most Protestants churches consider gambling as evil thing and they associate it with social harm such as lowering family income where a breadwinner gambled the household fund.

It plays on individual desires for instant gratification and winners and there is need to promote temperance and upright citizenship. So, legalizing sports gambling is to exacerbate the situation that need to be addressed. Legalization of sports gambling to some extent even though it would create possibility of making investigation on matches that have been suspected to have fraud; may result to compromised sport integrity because in the first place gambling would be considered to be normal thing if it is legalized.

If sports gambling is legalized it would not only be a bad social policy but also a bad economy policy besides its adverse effects in the integrity of the game (Costello & Milla, pp. 23; Evans & Hance, pp. 20). Conclusion Due to several cases of match fixes that have been attributed to gamblers in need of the matches results to be in their favor to help them get money from those betting integrity of various games has been compromised; if sports gambling is legalized, it would help scrutinized such frauds in case of any suspicion on how match has been played.

However, on other hand the government would have failed in formulating such policy that would adversely affect social relation and economy of many households of its citizens. Therefore, it would be prudent to be concerned with social and economic welfare of its citizens which has great bearing for its existence than be concerned of the fans and their game in the sphere of entertainment.

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