Disclaimer: This might be one of the most controversial articles on the topic of fixed matches. It is not only detailed and in-depth but also eye-opening and inciting. The views held therein are solely from the author and by the author and does not reflect the opinion of any company whatsoever.
Match fixing is no doubt a form of corruption that has become more evident and widespread in the 21st century thanks to the proliferation of simple and convenient communication techniques made possible by the internet. Like all forms of corruption, match fixing should be condemned by governments and civilians alike.
But wait. Why is match fixing not inscribed in virtually any countries’ laws globally? Apparently, less than 5 countries out of 220 countries have laws against match fixing or using fixed matches. It is quite ridiculous that only sports governing bodies have internal laws against match fixing. These internal laws only apply to the stakeholders of the respective game such as team members, league officials and federation officials.
History of governance has showed us that whenever a set of rules are made to apply to only a specific section of people while others cannot be brought to book for breaking those rules then there has to be something wrong with that law or the underlying matter.
Well, apparently, as a civilian who is not a sportsman, an official of any gaming body or a relative of the mentioned classes of people then you can lawfully engage in profiting from fixed matches. Why is this so? To answer this question I have to introduce you to a concept you might have never thought about.
BENEFITS OF MATCH FIXING TO THE SOCIETY
Whereas typical corruption involves persons in positions of power engaging in self-benefiting activities at the expense of the public, match fixing has the potential to do a lot of good in a society in a large scale.
Given a group of people gets information of an upcoming fixed match they can use it to their advantage and make monetary gains thereby uplifting their lives. This, of course will be at the expense of the “integrity of the game” and the betting companies.
And it is here that I introduce this debate: HOW EVIL OR UNLAWFUL IS MATCH FIXING?
I intend to answer the following questions by the end of this article:
How is match fixing done?
Who loses when matches are fixed?
Who benefits from match fixing?
Is there an acceptable way to fix matches?
Is there a way to increase the benefits of match fixing in society?
Should more countries enact more laws against match fixing?
Should governments support match fixing as an emerging industry?
What does the future of match fixing look like?
Should match fixing professionals be legally recognized?
What could happen if match fixing was legalized and regulated?
Keep reading till the end to understand all about the different aspects of match fixing, the stakeholders and the best way to deal in fixed matches.
1. How is match fixing done?
Match fixing refers to activities that lead to having a match being manipulated in one way or another for clandestine reasons such as unfair progression of a given team in a tournament or for monetary gains by betting on predetermined match outcomes. Team players, team officials, match officials and team owners are usually the hands that perpetrate match fixing. Most instances of match fixing are for monetary gain by betting.
These kind of fixed matches are bankrolled by thrived businessmen who pay a sum of money upfront to either the players or officials and in return get their desired outcomes. The team usually has to work harmoniously or semi-harmoniously to ensure the desired and predetermined outcome.
Note that while some teams are paid to ensure a certain final “score” some forms of match fixing are more subtle. For instance a team could plan to conceive more corner-kicks in a given match. This way they can create gains for their “sponsors” who would have placed bets on “more corner kicks” prior to the match.
The amounts of money paid to players and /or officials to pull such match fixing activities vary by region, leagues and team. Rich teams in popular leagues (majorly in rich countries) attract more match fixing fees that poor teams in less known leagues in developing countries.
That, my friend, is a summary of how match fixing is done. We have done a more detailed article on how match fixing is done. Feel free to check it out.
2. Who loses when matches are fixed?
The main worry that FIFA and other sports governing bodies mention concerning match fixing is that it erodes and compromises the integrity of the game in question. I could not agree more with them. Match fixing has the potential to turn sports fans into watching machines whose sense of suspense during matches is misplaced and ironical when some people out there already know what results to expect.
The sad fact, however, is that matches have always been fixed. Many games have had predetermined outcomes for decades. This is therefore not a new worry.
Actually, most football fans agree that fixed matches exist and some of the matches are actually taking fans for a ride when playing.
Integrity of the game is important if the sports industry has to be sustainable in the long run.
The other losers or casualties of match fixing that FIFA and most other critics rarely mention is the bookmaking industry. While we already know that “the house always wins” in betting and gambling, it is not clear if that might be the case if fixed matches were more rampant.
Why nobody cares about the answer to this question, I beg to be different. In as much as much as the betting industry rake in profits and continue to grow exponentially on the backs of hard working gamblers, they deserve fair treatment at least.
Betting companies keep in check illegal gambling and contributes to national growth through payment of taxes and creating employment. Without them many things can go wrong.
One question however remains, how profitable are betting companies? The answer is short and straight. VERY PROFITABLE.
This is happening even as match fixing is happening. The harm match fixing has on betting sites is therefore almost negligible, at least for now.
Those who engage in match fixing and get caught are a special class of casualties in this debate. Well, they know what they do is wrong on many levels, the reason they get punished heavily by governing bodies. The punishment is usually being banned from the sports for a number of years or for life. Is there a better way this could be handled? We will find out later in this article.
3. Who benefits from match fixing?
Players are the most recognizable beneficiaries of match fixing. Since the players have to participate in the match fixing deal for it to come to pass, they are often paid some money in advance and some later after the match.
The amounts they get from match fixing can be low or extremely high depending on the requested outcome, their financial status and the league they are playing in. Past instances have shown that players can get as small as few thousand dollars to millions of dollars for a single fixed match.
The team management, officiating personnel and the owner of a team may plan and execute a fixed match outcome for monetary or career gains. Officiating personnel are usually the “silent” ones in this saga.
They can fix match outcomes that are so subtle that not even the players, management or governing bodies can notice. How could you suspect that a match referee who has given only one red card during a match had that outcome predetermined? What about 6 yellow cards? You could not tell at all unless the referee is some special kind of dumb and impulsive while at it.
GAMBLERS WHO GET IN THE KNOW
Gamblers who get lucky enough to get information concerning a fixed match usually benefit by betting on the expected outcome almost risk-free. A fixed match outcome is something someone bets on confidently with a lot of money in order to make huge profits without the risk of loss.
Thousands of people are usually in the know about some fixed match somewhere in the world. Consequently, they make huge profits.
How they get to know about the fixed matches is simple. Either they have insiders in the team fixing an outcome e.g. player or coach, or they have a tipster who offers some genuine fixed matches.
Tipsters play a crucial role in communicating the availability of a fixed match directly or indirectly to gamblers. Truth be said, most gamblers have no way of accessing information about fixed matches.
Some smart tipsters have however made inroads within teams and leagues and are therefore in a position to have prior knowledge of a match’s outcome through connections.
These tipsters have helped many ordinary people make huge profits through the fixed matches. In return, tipsters charge usually an mount that’s enough to pay the informers and make some profits. Good tipsters with real guaranteed fixed matches have been known to make a lot of money through selling the information to gamblers and by betting on the matches themselves.
4. Is there an acceptable way to fix matches?
This is a very difficult question to answer and any answer here may be subject to debate. In light of the points we already discussed above, it is clear that match fixing erodes the integrity of the game and may potentially harm betting companies.
So to find out a better way of fixing matches we have to find a common ground where the harm is minimized and the benefits of match fixing are maximized. To minimize the damage of the game’s integrity, match fixing could focus more on subtler outcomes such as the number of cards, corners, fouls etc. and not on the main outcomes like the winning team or number of goals to be scored. This way, the large part of the sport’s integrity will be maintained and the benefits of match fixing will still hold.
Concerning betting companies, the match fixers could make sure the fixed outcomes are not in the full glare of the public. The prices for the fixed matches could be increased by tipsters up to a point where not so many people can afford to pay. The ones who afford to pay “in order to eliminate risk of loss” would get access to the fixed matches not more than 30 minutes to the game. This will ensure they do not have enough time to spread the information too much such that losses would be eminent for the betting companies.
If the above 2 steps are taken then everyone wins. The players, the officials, the tipster, the gambler wins. The betting company is also protected from huge losses.
5. Is there a way to increase the benefits of match fixing in society?
We already have explored how fixed matches help players, match officials, tipsters and gamblers. Now we shall explore the ways in which each of the above beneficiaries can maximize their gains without causing more harm to the sport or any other entity.
PLAYERS & OFFICIALS
If done correctly, the industry can increase the amount the players and officials are paid to fix matches. In developing countries where the amount paid for match fixing is usually small, the amount could be potentially increased 10-fold. For instance, to fix a local league match in West Africa costs about 10,000 US dollars.
It is totally possible to have a team paid 100,000 US Dollars per a single fixed outcome. Assuming the money is divided equally among 20 heads each one could easily make about 5000 US Dollars per fixed match outcome. This amount is far much than the amount club players are paid in West Africa which is about 1000 US Dollars per month.
This eliminated the biggest problem most players face which is the low pay they receive from club management or ownership. Players from Africa and other developing countries suffer a lot of financial problems which a fixed matches industry would solve easily.
After a tipster has reached an agreement with the players or officials bout a fixed match outcome, It becomes the tipster’s turn to play his cards right for the greater good. First, the tipster, if acting on impulse and making unwise decisions, can do a lot of harm for the players/officials and the betting companies.
First and foremost, the activities and communications made with players and match officials MUST remain confidential. The tipster must make sure he signs non-disclosure agreements. This and other rules of conduct are covered into details on the Tipster Association website.
The tipster is therefore expected to conduct himself with decorum and balance. When selling out the fixed match to the gambler he MUST not disclose how he came about the fixed match outcome. Doing so would end badly at some point given FIFA officials usually roam the tipster websites hungry to devour a player or match official who is suspected of match fixing.
Second, the tipster must sell his odds at a price that few people are willing and able to pay for them. The recommended price for a fixed match is between 100 US Dollars and 200 US Dollars per retail gambler. The tipster should also warn the gambler about the confidentiality of the fixed match. Besides, the fixed match should be given out to the gambler 1 hour or less before the kickoff. This will leave little room for sharing with many other people.
For trust, the tipster should be able to offer Pay-After-Win fixed matches outcomes for new customers. Existing customers should pay before the match.
The gambler also has a huge role to play to make fixed matches industry better and more organized. First, the gambler should follow the non-disclosure rules. After receiving or buying the fixed match odds, he is supposed to use it personally. Sharing the odds on social media may lead to disqualification.
Referrals are fine so long as they do not break other rules of engagement.
Second, the gambler is expected to use different betting sites on a rotational basis. This will deter the detective algorithms of betting sites from unnecessary reviews or blacklisting his account.
It is also highly advisable to register on many international betting sites to place fixed match bets on.
If the above rules and suggestions are followed then for sure the benefits of fixed matches in the society will increase. No party will be unnecessarily harmed and this could lead to a new sustainable career path as a professional Fixed Odds Gambler.
6. Should more countries enact more laws against match fixing?
There are no statutes I the civil laws of many countries on earth that criminalize match fixing. This light be due to the fact that match fixing is an extremely hard case to prove or because it is lesser of an evil. Even common laws that are exercised in most countries so arbitrarily and depending on precedence to solve, do not consider match fixing one of the areas they should touch on.
If I were to suggest that countries should enact more laws against match fixing that would be the same as saying that lawmakers globally have been suffering a serious case of laziness or oversight. While critics of match fixing might want to encourage lawmakers to do more in terms of criminalizing match fixing, proponents would argue that the laws simply do not exist bevause they shouldn’t.
Even if many countries believe players who fix matches are wrong, it would be utterly difficult to show how harmful the act is to the general public. If anything, members of the public who get access to fixed matches benefit greatly financially. It is therefore foolhardy to imagine that a government would want to enact laws against an act that potentially does more good than harm to its populace.
OTHER QUESTIONS TO BE ANSWERED
Below are some other questions we should give our opinions about.
7. Should governments support match fixing as an emerging industry?
8. What does the future of match fixing look like?
9. Should match fixing professionals be legally recognized?
10. What could happen if match fixing was legalized and regulated?
I do not want to be the know-it-all of fixed matches. I would like to know the views of other tipsters as well as players, betting fans and anyone that cares about football or winning bets.
Leave your comment in the comment section below and I will include your opinion in the next chapter of this article where we will talk about the unanswered questions above.
Till then, keep winning with our fixed matches, whether they are evil or not. At least they are 100% sure.