Friday, 7 September 2012

Corruption, Gambling, and Manipulation in Sports

With my research devoted to the legality and efficacy of minimum age rules winding down (recent examples here and here), I am looking forward to moving into a new research line - (non-)gambling corruption and manipulation in sports. It is a topic that blends my interest in doctrinal sports law and quantitative methods. With a few working papers on the topic in the queue (here and here), I was fortunate to receive a small grant that enabled me to organize a panel with a number of subject matter experts. The panel will take place October 12, 2012 and will be hosted by Florida State University's Department of Sport Management as part of the department's annual conference. The panel title, speakers, and abstract are below.

Corruption, Gambling, and Manipulation in Sports

Ryan Rodenberg (moderator)
Florida State University

Rick Borghesi (panelist)
University of South Florida
Author, Widespread Corruption inSports Gambling: Fact or Fiction?

Sean Patrick Griffin (panelist)
Penn State Abington
Author, Gaming the Game: The InsideStory of the NBA Betting Scandal and the Gambler who Made it Happen

Katarina Pijetlovic (panelist)
Tallinn Law School, Estonia
Author, European Union SportsPolicy Update

Jeff Reel
Associate General Counsel
ATP World Tour

Brian Tuohy (panelist)
Author, The Fix is In: The ShowbizManipulation of the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, and NASCAR
Author, Larceny Games: SportsGambling, Game Fixing, and the FBI


Twenty years ago, U.S. President George H.W. Bush signed into law theProfessional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (“PASPA”), a federal statutebanning sports gambling in all but four states (Nevada, Delaware, Montana, andOregon). PASPA, dubbed the Bradley Actafter its main Senatorial proponent and former NBA player Bill Bradley (D-NJ),drew strong support from professional and amateur sports leaguesnationwide. Competitive integrity preservation and theprevention of corruption in sporting contests were major tenets in furtheranceof PASPA’s enactment two decades ago. With the impetus for PASPA as a backdrop, the foci of this panel aretwo-fold. First, each panelist willprovide a primer on how competitive sports can (and are) being corrupted bygambling-related game fixing and non-gambling commercial interests. Second, panelists will discuss specificaspects of corruption and manipulation of sports. Borghesi will explain how he tested the so-called“widespread point shaving hypothesis” in college basketball. Griffin will provide an overview of the NBAbetting scandal and detail his statistical analysis of point spread movementsin the recent NBA betting scandal. Pijetlovic willexplain emerging corruption trends in Europe and the state of investigative journalismin the sports industry. Reel willoutline anti-corruption policy from a global sports league’s perspective. Tuohy will posit on how commercial interestsaugment sports and introduce his findings from over 400 FBI files pertaining tosports bribery and related issues. Thepanel will conclude with predictions and remedies for the future.

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