The EHF website posted two new stories today on their website:
EHF Marketing signs two-year partnership with bet-at-home.com: http://www.eurohandball.com/article/12540
EHF referees prepare for new season: http://www.eurohandball.com/article/12541
I live in Las Vegas and I’ve been known to make a bet or two (or three or four), but it never ceases to amaze me the incongruence of European leagues and teams sponsoring on-line betting services at the same time they must guard against match fixing. As Christer Ahl pointed out at the Play the Game Conference, the recent spate of Handball match fixing has likely been a result of the clubs themselves seeking a better result. One has only to look at other sports, however, and assess that it unfortunately is probably only a matter of time before gambling interests cause a handball match to be fixed.
Perhaps, though, this seemingly odd relationship is really beneficial with bet-at-home closely monitoring betting odds and an agreement to quickly inform EHF leadership should any unusual betting patterns emerge. As Kurt Streeter of the LA Times recently pointed out, all of the major scandals have been at least partially resolved with the support of sports books, who have a vested interested in results being on the up and up.
I can also only hope that gambling was discussed at the recent referee seminar. It may seem that a simple, "Just say no" policy is enough, but other scandals have shown how honest people can get in over their head with gambling debts and find themselves in a position where throwing a match or shaving a few goals can get them out of a jam. A seminar warning officials of gambling could be the ounce of prevention that avoids another scandal. Finally, the referees should be clearly warned of the punishment for match fixing– a lifetime ban from ever officiating again.
THN: The Euro Way: Fully Embracing Sports Betting: http://teamhandballnews.com/news.php?item.490
LA Times: States should get a cut of the sports betting action: http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-streeter30-2009aug30,0,1852177.column