bettingroundup022417 Betting roundup

English soccer player fixes bet by eating pie; MLB says Las Vegas could be viable market

Twice weekly, we’ll comb through as many articles, tweets and podcasts as we can find related to the world of sports betting and daily fantasy sports, and publish the good stuff here. 

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Wayne Shaw, an English soccer player, was forced to quit after eating a meat pie during a match which prompted a gambling investigation.

Bookmakers rushed to provide betting opportunities on the high-profile nationally televised game. In its eagerness to stand out in the competitive industry, the lesser-known company Sun Bets offered lighthearted, but very real, odds of 8-1 that Shaw would eat a pie on the sideline during the match. It was great for a laugh.

Then Shaw actually ate one.

In the 83rd minute of the match, which Arsenal won, 2-0, Shaw, who was not playing, was caught on camera dining on a meat and potato pie on the sideline.

Afterward, he guilelessly confessed that he knew about the bet and had eaten the pie because of it. “I said: ‘I don’t know. I have eaten nothing all day. So I might give it a go later on,’ ” he told The Daily Mail.

Shaw said he had not profited from his pie, but knew that others had. “Obviously, we are not allowed to bet,” he said, but he acknowledged that “I think a few of the mates and a few of the fans” had.

“You can look back and say it was part of it, and we got our ticket money back,” he said.

The trouble is, his dinner could be considered what is called “spot fixing.” Most sports-betting scandals around the world these days do not involve throwing an entire game. That requires too many participants and is too easily noted.

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said Las Vegas is a viable market for a major league team.

“Las Vegas could be a viable market for us,” Manfred said during his Cactus League news conference in Phoenix. “… I don’t think that the presence of legalized gambling in Las Vegas should necessarily disqualify that market as a potential major league city.”

A post published on The Guardian’s golf blog looks at golf’s relationship with sports betting.

This week, the R&A chief executive, Martin Slumbers, swatted away the suggestion that golf’s oldest major could bow to commerce and permit on-site betting.

“We have the Wi-Fi system that allows the online betting,” Slumbers said. “We just don’t particularly want to have bookmakers in the Open Championship in the golf course. People can absolutely do it outside the course, they can do it across their Wi-Fi with their online accounts but we just don’t want to have it inside the ropes.”

This sounded suspiciously like: “We don’t want that sort here.”

Slumbers added: “I think there’s danger in all sport of inappropriate betting. I’d hate to see crowds getting overly involved in their enthusiasm for a particular player or hole or shot because of their betting position. I think that would be detrimental.