Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Sensible Advice

Sports Tradng Life have a post about the recent match-fixing scandal, and has a quite different take on the subject than I do. The post basically suggests that it is 'only' spot-fixing, not match-fixing:

So far it seems like it is just players fixing yellow cards which does not really influence the overall result of the match. Unless you punt on the “Shown a card” market then this should not really affect you in any way.
Well, that's OK then. Boys will be boys. Punching someone repeatedly in the groin for no apparent reason is OK. 

"Does not really influence the overall result of the match?" Are you kidding me?

Of course cards affect markets and how players play the rest of the game. If they didn't, there'd be little point in having them! In the event of a yellow, the player is on a final warning, and thus needs to be extra careful to avoid a second one, and in the case of a red, his team are at a disadvantage. The impact of cards can vary of course. A yellow card late in stoppage time is one thing, a red card in the first minute is quite another.

The post continues:
To fix the result of a match you would need several players to all be in on it and while there are some players that might need the money you can trust that the majority do not.
Spot fixing is another kettle of fish and something that can easily be fixed but these will usually be only things that can not affect the result. If you are sensible you should not be getting involved in such markets unless you had inside information anyway.
If you stick to the highest level of any sport you punt on you do also lower your chances of any corruption. At the highest level, it is much less likely you will find players who need the money to such an extent that they will cheat to get it. The other main reason you should only punt on the highest level of any sport is the consistency of the players. This is much better from a punting perspective and you should only really be punting on the lower levels if you have inside information.
To sum up, unless something comes out where we discover a match result or a total number of goals has been fixed in a top level match then there really should be nothing to worry about from a Betfair trading perspective.
"If you are sensible" is as useful a piece of advice as to back the Overs just before a goal is scored. With World Cup Finals matches previously the subject of concerns about fixing (2006), and recent claims that some 2014 World Cup Finals games were to be targeted (one can reasonably guess the country involved), might the suggestion to be "sensible" mean that you limit your betting to the quadrennial World Cup Final game? 

League One and Championship matches are not the Romanian Third Division South (if there even is such a league), but many (most) traders see them as being above the level where one might reasonably expect corruption.

Whatever your interest is in games at these levels, whether you trade these matches, have a punt on them, or just watch them, I think there is plenty to worry about. 

What Betfair traders should be worried about is legislation that outlaws in-play trading on sports as a result of this or other investigations. The Gambling Commission study of 2009 found no reason to ban it at that time, but with more cases like the ongoing one, it's not inconceivable that there might yet be a regulatory change at some point. 

I have never bet on cards for the same reason I don't bet on horse racing - I will never have an edge in these markets, but I do have the occasional punt on lower league and even non-league fixtures, and I want these matches to be played cleanly. I don't see the issue as something to be taken as casually or as lightly as Sports Trading Life


Peter said...

To suggest match fixing at whatever level has no effect on the outcome is laughable and shows their knowledge of betting. Sports Trading Life is just one of those blogs hoping to make it's money via affiliate and click thru money. I can't imagine anyone takes a blind bit of notice of the crap they usually post.

For them it's all about key words hoping for new visitors, I doubt even they read what they've written :)

Ellis Rayner said...

I think you and Sports Trading have missed the point. This story is bullshit, you cannot, major finals aside, bet on any random player to be yellow carded, whether during a match or in a timed window.

You say, or at least imply, you don't bet on things where inside knowledge, of which you have none, could play a part. Yet you are happy to make comments about markets (which don't exist) about which you have zero knowledge!