New state law to allow betting on sports & horse racing


How about a ‘point-shaving’ scandal like that seen in 1960s era Dixie Classic Basketball Tournament 


What is the status of sports betting and horse racing wagering in North Carolina?

North Carolina’s new Sports Wagering/Horse Racing law, created by the passage of House Bill 347 on June 8, authorizes sports betting and wagering on horse racing to be conducted by licensed proprietors or services providers. The law gives the NC State Lottery Commission 12 months to set up such a network. 

Has the Commission adopted rules and regulations governing sports wagering?

Not yet. The Commission is currently in the process of drafting rules to regulate sports betting and horse racing wagering. 

Can I place a legal sports bet today?

Currently, sports betting is only allowed at the casinos located on tribal lands of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and the Catawba Indian Nation. Otherwise, you cannot currently place a legal sports bet or wager on a horse race in North Carolina

What will I be able to place bets on?

The new law authorizes waging on professional sports, college sports, electronic sports, amateur sports, or any other event approved by the Commission aS well as horse racing — both live and simulcast races.

Where will I be able to place a sports bet?

Once it is authorized, sports wagering will be permitted at a limited number of in-person, regulated locations and via mobile platforms authorized and regulated by the Commission.

All of the following are prohibited from betting on sports or horse races:

1)  Any person under the age of 21.

2)  Any employee or key person of an interactive sports wagering operator or service provider when placing sports bets with that interactive sports wagering operator.

3)  With respect to a sporting event, any participant in that sporting event, including an athlete, coach, trainer, official, or       any employee or staff of a participant

4)  Any employee or staff of a sports governing body, when placing a sports wager on sporting events with which that  individual or sports governing body is affiliated.

Items 3 and 4 present the stickiest of wickets for the state’s new betting venues. In fact, we’ve been down this road before with a ‘point-shaving’ scheme during the once hugely popular Dixie Classic Basketball Tournament –  held on the campus of NC State University during the 1950s and early ‘60s. In organized sports, point shaving is a type of game-fixing where the perpetrators try to change the final score of a game without changing who wins. This is typically done by players colluding with gamblers to prevent a team from covering a published ‘point spread’ where gamblers bet on the margin of victory. The practice of shaving points is illegal in most countries, and penalties are imposed for those caught and convicted, including jail time.

A point-shaving scheme generally involves a sports gambler and one or more players of the team favored to win the game. In exchange for some type of bribe  or inducement, the player or players agree to ensure that their team will not “cover the point spread” (the bribed player’s team may still win but not by as big a margin as that predicted by bookmakers). The gambler then wagers against the bribed team.

 Alternatively, players on the team picked to lose may be bribed to lose by more points than the indicated point spread, and gamblers will wager on their opponents, the favorites, to cover the spread. Also, an official (referee) of the game may be bribed, or even bet on his own behalf, so that one or more “close calls” will be called in favor of the “underdog” rather than the team favored to win.

Basketball is a particularly easy medium for shaving points because of the scoring tempo of the game and the ease by which one player can influence key events. By deliberately missing shots or committing turnovers or fouls, a corrupt player can covertly ensure that his team fails to cover the point spread without an outright loss. This is further complicated due to the similar behavior of an honest player who takes a shot and misses 

As early as 1959, there were allegations of point shaving during the Dixie Classic, but there was no evidence found. However, in 1961 an operation was discovered involving the tournament that could be traced back to gambling in New York City. On May 14, 1961, University of North Carolina system President William C. Friday was summoned to an emergency meeting in Chapel Hill with the Wake County District Attorney, Lester Chalmers. At the meeting, it was disclosed that at least four NC State players and maybe two North Carolina players were involved in fixing the matches –  one game for sure happened during the Dixie Classic tournament. Also, allegations were made that a disappointed gambler had pulled a gun on an NC State player when the fix did not go as planned.

And that, my friends, was the abrupt end of the Dixie Classic Basketball Tournament. Maybe such corruption will never again happen – BUT DON’T BET ON IT.