Recent sports headlines have been dominated by allegations made against members of the Pakistan cricket team. One phrase spot betting crops up a lot. So what is it and how is it different to "spread betting"?
Most novices think about betting on the outcome of an entire event. The final scoreor the total number of runs scored in a match by a particular batsman, perhaps. However, modern technology allows punters to bet on the minutest details as the game progresses. That might include, but is not limited to, whether a particular ball bowled will be a no ball or not, and the number of no-balls that will be bowled in an over or a game. I may also include how many runs a particular player or partnership will score in a single innings.
To set up a spot betting scam you usually need several players to collaborate.
Subscribe to MoneyWeek
Subscribe to MoneyWeek today and get your first six magazine issues absolutely FREE
So, for example, a pair of batsmen might start a partnership aggressively, leading punters to reckon on a high partnership total. As bets pile in, they slacken off or even deliberately get bowled out. Anyone who bet on a much lower run total (and who is also in on the scam) will clean up.
Or, at a particular point in the match, a bowler might start to bowl wides or no-balls to reduce their bowling figures. Again, anyone in the know who is betting against most other punters will make good money.
- Spread betting The easy way to geared, tax-free returns
- Forex trading- How to profit from currency movements
Other sports are vulnerable too. As the BBC notes, Matt Le Tissier, the former Southampton and England player, tried to make "a few quid" on the timing of the first throw-in in a 1995 match. He decided to kick the ball out of play, having placed a bet before the game. Sadly for him, one of his teammates managed to keep it in and he didn't win anything.
As for spread betting, via a website such as befair.com you in effect set the odds alongside other gamblers. So, for example, the average prediction from cricket fans betting on the number of runs to be scored might be 60. A spread betting firm will set up a spread of, say, 58-62. You then place an up bet at £10 per point, for example, reckoning on more runs being scored. If the outcome is 70 runs you makeeight points (70-62) at £10 each, or £80 in total. All tax free and perfectly legal.
Rigged spot betting on the other hand is illegal avoid!
Tim graduated with a history degree from Cambridge University in 1989 and, after a year of travelling, joined the financial services firm Ernst and Young in 1990, qualifying as a chartered accountant in 1994.
He then moved into financial markets training, designing and running a variety of courses at graduate level and beyond for a range of organisations including the Securities and Investment Institute and UBS. He joined MoneyWeek in 2007.
Who is the richest person in the world?
The top five richest people in the world have a combined net worth of $825 billion. Who takes the crown for the richest person in the world?
By Vaishali Varu Published
Top 10 stocks with highest growth over past decade - from Nvidia, Microsoft to Netflix, which companies made you the most money?
We reveal the 10 global companies with the biggest returns since 2013. One firm has posted an astonishing 9,870% return, meaning a £1,000 investment would now be worth almost £82,000.
By Ruth Emery Published