Wednesday, July 20, 2005

NCAA hard up for action

The NCAA is serious about cracking down on gambling by collegiate athletes. It's worries are legion. Too many atheletes are gambling according to a cited study. The fix is an ugly monster. And who should we take in the BSU UGA opener?

Choice quotes:

”Rachel Newman-Baker, the NCAA's director of gambling activities, said Tuesday the group hoped to re-establish contact with the odds makers to watch for instances where heavy wagering has caused significant changes in point spreads or for the casinos to pull games off the board.

The steps were presented to the NCAA's management council during its meeting this week near Los Angeles.

The NCAA has not yet decided how it will communicate with the sports books, but might do so directly or through Nevada casino regulators, Newman-Baker said.”

This is good. The NCAA is going to ask Joe Six-Pack to walk into a casino, look for a line, and then find out why it got taken off the board. I'll admit I've never been to a casino in Vegas. I'm not sure they actually announce why lines are taken off the board, though. Oh, speculation often abounds, and sometimes it's pretty good speculation.

But odds makers don't take lines off the boards simply because of some funky betting patterns. There might be a number of reasons – they might be waiting on word of whether certain players are allowed to play. Sometimes lines don't even appear until midweek – I can assure you that athletes laying down wagers is not the cause of that.

Further, I can doubly assure you that if every athlete who bets gambles every penny they own or borrowed from an alumni on one game, on the same team, the lines probably won't move that much. Millions, if not billions, of dollars are changing hands in this mega-industry. I'm guessing that the sum total of athlete wagers, and wagers made by their next door neighbors (seriously – what's the harm in dropping a couple of passes?), is far far exceeded by the sum total of every other dollar bet on a given game, assuming that game as some national attention (I doubt the Division II football championship game garners as many wagers as Oklahoma vs Oklahoma State, but I could be mistaken).

Actual point shaving/tanking a game for gambling purposes is nasty. It can wreck a sport. I can't tell if the NCAA thinks that the odds makers just “know” every time there is a legitimate chance it is going to happen, but I think there's some dissapointment on the horizon if this is the case. I applaud the NCAA for trying to be wary of the issue as well as offering education on gambling for colegiate athletes. However, this is the NCAA. Headless chicken springs immediately to mind. So excuse me if I view all of this with a grain of salt.


At 12:38 PM, Blogger mikeelikesit said...

Gambling Commission under the old regulatory regime, applications have progressed to full hearings while the fortitude of these online gambling casinos commissions and licenses are all but operational; some of these are thought to be dormant and others under construction. Concern at the spate of applications and imposed a cut-off date of April next year for submissions under the old legislation.

At 12:55 PM, Blogger Erik Mann said...

great topic, keep up the great posts, MMA


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