If You Prohibit It, Bootleggers Will Come: A Mixed Method Study of the Landscape of College Basketball Betting
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Over the past 25 years, betting on sports in the United States has grown dramatically with the majority of wagers being placed in illicit markets. Only 1% of an estimated 500 billion dollar sports betting industry in the United States is done legally. With this much at stake, the incentives to alter the outcome of the games are high. Corrupt gamblers can “fix” the match by offering payments to players to “throw the game,” that is, to predetermine the outcome in exchange for a payment (match fixing). This paper addresses whether match fixing in college basketball can be detected and contained with the current policies. A mixed method design will be used to identify possible “triggers” in Nevada Casino betting line movements that might warrant an investigation of cheating in the games. If match fixing can be detected at acceptable levels of probability, then current federal prohibitive law on sports betting might no longer be appropriate. Additionally, a survey will be administered to bettors in Nevada to analyze perceptions of the game’s integrity, further eroding the logic of current law.
- MA in Policy Studies