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Possible Olympic Fixing Targets in 2012

21 March 2012 by Devon Chappell

When most people think of sports betting here in the United States, they probably think of men’s college basketball and NFL football. When they think of sports betting in England, they probably think of soccer and cricket. But with the 2012 Summer Olympics just around the corner, there will no doubt be a great number of bets placed on the various events that make up the Games. For this reason, efforts are being made to keep all bets associated with the London Olympics as free from scandal as possible.

Surprisingly to some, the British betting industry is spearheading efforts to keep the games clean of fixing scandals. They recently put together a seminar with Olympic organizers so they could collectively strategize on how best to accomplish this goal.

The driving fear is that Olympic athletes will be enticed by Asian bookmakers, operating illegally, to potentially throw events in return for financial pay-offs. Smaller sporting events would be ideal targets for this as they attract less attention than the more popular sports like gymnastics and swimming. But the legal betting industry, as well as the organizers of the Games themselves, all agree that scandals involving corrupted athletes have no place in the 2012 London Olympics.

The Business Director of the British bookmaker Ladbrokes, Mike O’Kane, discussed with Reuters how he intends to monitor bets placed on smaller events. “If I see a bet of more than 50 pounds I’ll be looking at who it is, because I’m not expecting 50 pounds on weightlifting or badminton.” He also stated, “Where the issues are, if there are any issues, will be illegal betting out of Asia.”

While steroid use is usually thought of as the number one concern, there is an increasing feeling that fixing scandals could do just as much, if not more, to damage the integrity of the Games.

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