Monday, July 25, 2011

Game Fixing

The New York Times has an interesting article on game fixing in European football (soccer). The Wall Street Journal had an interesting article on the new role that oddsmakers have in game or match fixing. A few years ago, I wrote about the impact of match fixing in tennis.

The problem with game/match fixing is that it reduces the uncertainty of outcome for the game, and thus impedes the "integrity" of the game. It is perceived that if fans know the games are fixed or predetermined, then spectator attendance will fall. I do not doubt this, but we all know that the WWE is pre-determined and spectator attendance does not seem to be adversely affected.

My guess is that fan attendance will not change much (statistically) if these allegations of match/game fixing are proven, much like fan attendance did not change (statistically) after the labor stoppages in the NBA, MLB, NFL or NHL over the last few decades. See chapter 2 of The Wages of Wins for a more in depth discussion.

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