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NBA Betting Scandals – Did They Really Happen And Why?

The Biggest NBA Betting Scandals of All Time

Basketball is one of our favored sports, garnering thousands of dedicated supporters in Canada and the USA. The excitement of the games and the brilliant players have contributed to a sporting sensation that lends itself to placing a bet. Want to support your team? Follow a certain player? While betting on sports is not a new phenomenon, it has evolved to new dimensions with the changes in gambling laws and the opportunity to place your bets legally online.

Until fairly recently, placing a real money bet was not an easy or legal option. Since 1982, sports betting and other forms of gambling, was an illegal activity across the county. This overall ban began to soften in the early nineties, with the regulations regarding gambling laws being delegated to individual provinces. Effectively handing them control over lotteries, slot machines, casinos and racing, you can now place a bet in some provinces.

The rules and regulations place strict restrictions on the type, size and level of wagers that can be placed. This has resulted in sports enthusiasts moving to online sportsbooks to place their NBA bets, also finding better odds, more options and higher wagers. Canuks and Americans are enjoying the benefits of accessing any online casino with sportsbook, like 888 Sports and Betway, knowing they can place real money bets and take their winnings tax-free. There are currently no laws that prevent Canadians from placing a bet online with an international casino and sportsbook.

Increased Interest In Betting On The NBA

The advent of online sportsbooks has allowed sports enthusiasts to have choices in the bets they place that are not available offline. Plus, sports that did not support gambling activities have changed their tune. The NBA is one clear example, as in 2018, they announced that MGM Resorts would be their first official gaming partner. As one of the top four major professional leagues in America and Canada, betting on these games has exploded exponentially online.
This has created considerable competition between the online casino sites and their sportsbooks. A competition that is resulting in some interesting betting odds, and promotional welcome bonuses, even to the point of getting real money to play with for free at some sportsbooks. All you have to do is sign up to a casino and then select your wager. Easy! You can expect to earn 50% more on a winning bet online than via a regulated Canadian betting source, 

More Transparency – Less Corruption?

Recently, the Canadian government is showing interest in what is happening with sports betting in the USA. In 2019 the Supreme court lifted the federal ban on sports betting. Now all the 50 states govern whether to legalize betting on sports. One aspect of this has resulted in increased pressure on sports governing bodies to ensure all games remain uncorrupted. That might not be the easiest of tasks! As long as sports betting has been around, people are always looking to move the odds in their favor. Even within the highly respected NBA, we have seen some unexpected “cheats” that have shocked fans.

Tim Donaghy – Rigging Games?
The scandal over this referee blew up quickly and was swallowed up quickly too, almost like fans did not want to believe it happened. However, a movie release in 2019 will bring this scandal to the public eye once again. You can watch Inside Game trailer for a peek at this new movie release on the scandal of Tim Donaghy. Donaghy was a professional NBA referee who initially accused the NBA in 2002 of fixing that year’s finals. Then in 2007, he was arrested by the FBI following an investigation into betting on games and making phone calls that would affect a game's outcome. Tim pleaded guilty and served prison time.

John “Hot Rod” Williams – Point-Shaving?
This basketball veteran who died at the early age of 53 in 2015, did not get his place in the Hall of Fame. He remains a well-remembered, popular player for the Cleveland Cavaliers. John is also remembered for being accused of point-shaving in 1985. Along with 5 other players he faced potential jail time, suspected of point-shaving over two games for a $17,000 pot. The first time in court was a mistrial, and he was acquitted on 5 counts in the second trial.

New York Knicks – Draft Fixing?
In 1985, when envelopes and not lottery balls were used in the draft picks, one of the envelopes got a corner bent. This occurred when the accountant “accidentally” dropped the envelopes. David Stern chose the same bent corner envelope that gave The Knicks first pick. Their choice of #1 pick for the draft, unsurprisingly was Patrick Ewing!

Connie Hawkin
While this player did get into the Hall of Fame eventually, it was a long circuitous route to recognition of his talent. Deprived of professional playing opportunities due to a scandal in 1960, he was accused of introducing players to a gambling and point-shaving scam. When the scandal broke, the principals involved stated Hawkin had not been involved. Connie was not arrested or indicted, but the mud stuck, and his promising career never took off, depriving thousands of fans of his skillful, aerobatic throw-down dunks after soaring to the net! 

The Anthony Davis Hat 
All seemed straight forward in the 2012 draft when New Orleans Hornets had first pick and got Anthony Davis. Great pick, but questions and controversy arose when a social media picture emerged of Davis wearing a Hornets cap 2 weeks before the draft even occurred!

The Miracle Comeback
Another miraculous play in 2002, at the Western Conference Finals by The Lakers, did not raise any eyebrows. Coming back from 3 – 2 down to the Sacramento Kings, all seemed above board. Fortuitously, The Lakers threw 40 free balls in Game 6 and went on to close the series at home in Game 7. So the Lakers, one of NBA’s biggest markets headed off to the finals. Nothing too untoward until one of the refs let it be known that he and his associates “just let Lakers win”!