While gambling in other mediums has a negative effect on the gambler, the spectators normally are unharmed since the consequences of gambling in a casino is directed toward an individual. In sports, however, a whole community is affected by gambling. For example, in low division boxing matches, it is very common for the fighters to not throw a lot of punches in the first round in order for the gamblers to make their bets. This example is a clear showcase of a situation in which gambling affects viewers since the money being earned for gambling is being prioritized over entertainment value.
Another problem with sports betting is the risk of players or whole teams throwing a game because the winnings from gambling bets outweigh the winnings granted by actually winning the game. This type of outcome happens in all sports, from fighters intentionally taking a dive in boxing to baseball players throwing a game. The Black Sox scandal of 1919 is a prime example of this behavior in which eight players were accused of intentionally losing the world series against the Cincinnati Reds. This was done as part of a deal with a gambling syndicate in which the players would get a percentage of the winnings. Not only is this kind of behavior deplorable and unacceptable but it also takes away from the beauty and respect that baseball and sports, in general, are supposed to represent.
Sports betting is also very dangerous at the individual scale since online betting is open at any time to anyone and this type of availability only encourages a dangerous habit. Sports are also very popular to the younger generations and the promotion of gambling may result in many kids getting into the habit of gambling and I don’t think I need to explain to you why that is problematic.
While the problem of sports betting is obvious, a solution to the already growing problem is very difficult to come up with. Many argue that an outright ban is the best solution but this only worsens the situation since wagering for sports will happen either way and if it’s banned then it will become an illegal activity which will most definitely open the door for criminal influences. An outright ban is also very unlikely to happen since gambling money is converted into tax revenue for the government. It is very unlikely that a government would ban something that is generating so much money.
If you want to fight gambling in the sports industry then you have to do something locally since waiting for legislative action will probably take a while. Get involved in local campaigns to reduce gambling in sports. If you have a club that is having problems with gambling, encourage them to seek out the media to bring the issue into attention. All of this can be done to rid ourselves of the cancer that is gambling in sports.