Placing a bet on boxing has been around for almost as long as the sport itself. If you think of an early boxing ring then you’ll probably be thinking of the touts and bookies that take the bets around it. Being able to gamble on boxing comes with positive and negative effects though, not all of which we are really aware of.
The positive effects of gambling include sponsorship, without this valuable money it’s likely that boxing wouldn’t be as popular. Sponsorship money allows for new players to be found, equipment to be provided and even maintenance and booking of large scale arenas. This money comes in exchange for pure screen time, so it’s a symbiotic relationship between organisers and advertisers.
The relationship between these bookmakers and the teams they work with can be positive or negative. They can provide them with additional support or be seen to be meddling in the games or arena selection. It’s a double edged sword in this regard but overall, most fans see sponsorship as a positive aspect.
This casino relationship has been around for so long that Las Vegas has become a spiritual home for the sport. Many high profile matches take places in casino homes in Las Vegas, a tradition that goes back to the 1960s.
With all of these positive aspects, you may wonder if there are actually any negative ones at all. The big, glaring, ugly negative that exists as a direct result of sports betting is match fixing. This insidious way to turn a quick buck exists in many sports, even football players have been banned for betting on games.
However, boxing managers can place bets by proxy and give tips for the outcome of a match, which fetch a high price. Corruption, bribery and fixing exists on a massive, global scale. It is possible to support the sponsor, i.e. visiting their site, to play on other categories.
Betting operators can also have bingo sites, where players can play the best games in the category without actually betting on the outcome of the match. These bingo sites won’t be to the tastes of every spectator but it is a solution to the match fixing problem without stripping gambling from the mix entirely.
This type of extortion and match results fixing is illegal, but that doesn’t seem to stop those that are involved in it. It’s worth billions of dollars every year and there seems to be no way to effectively stamp it out, short of banning bets on boxing altogether. The structure of boxing, management and competitors makes this an easier game to fix than team games like football.
In general, betting has brought a lot to this games and there has to be a degree of appreciation for that. That doesn’t mean that we can’t strive to improve and reduce the negative effects however, which should be more than possible to do. We’d like to see the positive effects of this to become more prominent and the negative ones take a back seat in future.