DON'T BET ON IT
to Athletes on Sports Gambling
a college athlete
and you decide to place
a bet on a professional or collegiate game.
No big deal, right?
couldn't be more wrong, for two important
the NCAAthe National Collegiate Athletic
Associationhas a zero tolerance policy
when it comes to sports gambling by its athletes.
Get caught betting on a gameeven one
you're not playing inand your career
as a college athlete is over.
betting opens the door to more serious involvement
with organized crime
and could get you
into even deeper trouble.
does that happen? Consider the following:
say you're a college basketball player and
you start placing bets on your own games.
Suddenly, you begin losing big. Now you
owe the campus bookie several thousand dollars
and can't afford to pay up. (And by the
way, that bookie may not be an actual mobster,
but probably pays up the line to one.)
you have something the bookie wants: access
to inside information and the ability to
change the outcome of a game. Both can
be very lucrative for organized crime syndicates.
you may be asked to play just a shade below
your potential in an upcoming game that
your team is favored to win. "They
tell the athlete, 'We don't want your team
to lose, just win by six instead of 12,'"
says Supervisory Special Agent Jon Bunn,
who works on organized crime issues in our
Criminal Investigative Division. The mobsters
then bet heavily against the point spread
and make a lot of money.
you're off hook after the game, right?
Not so fast. "Mobsters never consider
it a one-time deal," said Tom Metz,
assistant chief of our Transnational Criminal
Enterprises Section. "They will probably
blackmail you to keep you participating
in their schemes." For example, instead
of point shaving, you may be asked for informationsuch
as who is injured or who may miss a gamethat
gives these crooks an edge on betting on
dangers are exactly why agents around the
nation make annual presentations to college
athletes about the dangers of sports gambling.
Agent Bunn, for example, talks with the final
16 men's and women's college basketball teams
it or not, if you are a student athlete you
are vulnerable to outside influences just
because of who you are," said Agent Bunn.
"It's important to understand how just
risky and dangerous betting on sports really
college athletes: please take our advice and
don't gamble with your future!
Sports Bribery Program