Betting And Soccer: The Two Sides Of The Story
Published: June 01, 2017
Betting And Soccer: The Two Sides Of The StoryThe world of gambling and the world of sports overlap in several ways. The relationship between the two is most of the times open and positive, leading to the advancement and betterment of both.

Sometimes, in turn, there is something dark lurking behind the scenes that robs the world of sports of its very soul, turning it into something sinister and heartless.

Let's take a look at both of these cases.

The light side: sponsorship and inspiration

Casino game developers often turn to the world of sports for inspiration. Some of the most successful Royal Vegas online casino games are inspired by sports.

Sometimes they are playful, like in the case of Karate Pig or Soccer Safari.

Other times, these Royal Vegas titles are a true homage to the sports they are inspired by.

Football Star, one of the most played casino game at the Royal Vegas, is a tribute from the developer to the biggest football event of the world, the FIFA World Cup.

It was added to the Royal Vegas game library in the wake of the 2014 FIFA World Cup hosted by Brazil, and it's still among the most popular games at the venue, showing that many football lovers also appreciate a quality slot machine.

Gambling companies are also often sponsoring sports teams. This year, gambling group OneBet has entered a sponsorship deal with the World Rally Championship, Spanish La Liga football club Real Madrid has shaken hands with betting group Codere Apuestas, Italian Serie A team Torino has GoldBet among its sponsors, and several other teams in major European leagues have also signed sponsorship deals with major international gambling and betting groups.

This is positive in the long run, offering the teams more funds to spend on players and managers, and becoming more successful in the long run.

The dark side: match fixing

Not all betting is done on the legitimate, regulated market, though.

Actually, the illegal betting business is estimated to be up to 10 times bigger in terms of revenue than its legal counterpart.

Since they are working outside the reach of the authorities and laws, their actions are not limited by them, meaning that they feel free to take actions that are not only immoral but also illegal.

One of these things is match fixing - the practice of influencing the outcome of various sports events by illegal means to provide an unfair advantage to certain bettors.

This is most of the times done by bribing players, managers, even referees, and the amounts circulated are quite serious. At one time, a Daily Mail investigation has uncovered a match-fixing operation in the UK - the intermediary told the undercover journalists that buying a match in the Premier League can cost as much as £70,000 (that's about N27.5 million at today's exchange rate).

The authorities want to avoid even the suspicion of match fixing by strictly prohibiting players and managers to place bets on the events they are involved in.

These illegal operations, unbound by the applicable laws, do influence the matches, though, ripping the sportsmanship out of the sport.

Igho Kingsley
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