The Biggest Scandals in Sports Betting History

From time to time, a sports betting scandal is unearthed that rocks the world and leads to the downfall of some of our favorite sports heroes. Whilst the vast majority of people enjoy gambling without breaking any laws or cheating, there are plenty of occasions throughout history where famous sportsmen have been tempted to break the rules. Whether in baseball, basketball, football or hockey, it seems people will always be tempted to illegally bet on games. Some of the biggest sports betting scandals ever are as follows:

The 1919 Black Sox

The infamous tale of the 1919 Black Sox is perhaps the most well-known sports betting scandal of all time. For that year, the Chicago White Sox played the Cincinnati Reds in the World Series. After the series, it was discovered that eight of the White Sox players, including Shoeless Joe Jackson, had intentionally lost the series. Purportedly, the games were thrown in exchange for money, paid out by New York gangster Arnold Rothstein. Rothstein, naturally used the thrown Series to earn a tidy sum in illegal sports bets.

Point-Shaving in College Basketball

In 1951, a vast point-shaving scam was uncovered in the NCAA. Point-shaving is a type of sports betting scandal that requires players to intentionally miss shots or otherwise orchestrate game play to ensure that his team does not score enough points to cover the spread. Thanks to the investigation, it was determined that at least 86 college basketball games between the years of 1947 and 1951 had been fixed.

In the fallout of the scandal, 20 college players were indicted, convicted and banned from ever being able to play in the NBA. Several coaching careers were also ruined.

Pete Rose

Pete Rose was banned in 1989 for illegal sports betting. At the time, he was the general manager for the Cincinnati Reds. Though he initially denied ever betting on baseball, Rose eventually admitted to the scandal. Even later, he admitted to betting on virtually every Reds game during the time in question. Though no proof exists that Rose ever bet against the Reds, he nevertheless was banned for life from the MLB. Beyond losing a promising career as a manager, Pete Rose also lost eligibility for entry into the Hall of Fame (an honor that would have been inevitable).


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