Piegate: Matched betting is better than match fixing
February 23, 2017
If Wayne Shaw’s #Piegate antics showed us one thing, matched betting is a better way to make money than match fixing.
For anyone who’s missed the news for the past few days, Shaw is the reserve goalkeeper for non-league Sutton United who was seen on TV tucking into a pie late in the FA Cup game against Arsenal on Monday night.
The incident caused hilarity at the time as the rotund keeper made sure he was seen munching away during the final minutes of his team’s 2-0 defeat against the Premier League side. It wasn’t until it became known that Sutton’s sponsor Sun Bets had been offering 8/1 for Shaw to eat a pie during the match that a storm brewed up.
Shaw admitted that he was aware that the bookie had offered odds on him eating a pie on camera and conceded he’d told a ‘few’ of his mates he would do it as “just a bit of banter for them”. However, what was thought to be a harmless stunt backfired when he was forced to resign from the club amid news that the FA and Gambling Commission were launching separate investigations into the incident.
While Shaw states he didn’t place a bet himself he did say to viewers of ITV’s Good Morning breakfast show that he told some of his mates to get on. There is a worldwide ban on betting in football and the FA rules state that players “are not allowed to pass inside information to someone else which they use for betting”.
The Gambling Commission have concerns about Sun Bets’ role in Piegate and the GC’s enforcement and intelligence director Richard Watson said: “Integrity in sport is not a joke and we have opened an investigation to establish exactly what happened.”
While the pie-eating had no influence on the result and can’t be construed a match fixing, opinions on Piegate are divided. Ex-footballers Gary Linker and Vinny Jones could see the funny side of it and lamented the lack of humour in modern football.
Elsewhere, former Aston Villa and Liverpool striker Stan Collymore understands how betting syndicates prey on low paid players and failed to see the funny side of it. He tweeted his views on Monday before writing a piece in the Mirror about the time we was approached to help buy players to influence games in lower-league and non-league football.
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