Fascinating Stories About Scandalous Sports Bets

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Sports betting has always been an integral part of the gambling industry. There are millions of sports fanatics who are ready to bet their own houses just to support their favorite teams. And there is some serious cash involved in sports betting, for sure!

Professional bettors, on the other hand, are quite serious people; their betting decisions don’t just appear out of thin air. The results are thoroughly evaluated; and, based on various factors, different teams have certain advantages. This depends, of course, on the line-ups; as well as on the team’s success in any previous seasons.

Sometimes commentators and officials at top sporting events get involved in this business, as they want to help some pretty influential people choose the right side; so they use their intuition and knowledge about the individual peculiarities of the specific teams or players who are taking part in competitions or sporting events.

Now, let’s not forget about all those Mafia clans that have a long history of coexisting with profitable businesses. It wasn’t always a beneficial relationship. Well, frankly, it was never really mutually beneficial now, was it? The mafiosi always came first; and they were the ones who made almost all the money from the bets, while the people who had to cooperate with them did so mostly for survival.

Anyway, taking into account how dangerous any form of gambling can sometimes be, you can safely assume there are lots of scandalous stories connected to sports betting. And of course, you’re absolutely right! So, do you want to learn more about them? We’ll help you out! Have a little look at the following stories.

Pete Rose’s Сase

Let us tell you the tale of Pete ‘Charlie Hustle’ Rose, who was a famous switch-hitter in Major League Baseball. He won three World Series cups and became a national star in the 1960s. In the early 1980s, Pete Rose became the manager of Cincinnati Reds; then after this, his nickname became associated not only with his baseball career, but also with his hustle; which was connected to the bets he made on the team he was training!

Pete-RoseHis name was later linked to a famous case, known as the Dowd Report. It was suggested that Rose was addicted to gambling and that was wagering at least $10,000 per day (!) on MLB series games. As this case went viral and ended up damaging the reputation of the baseball league Rose was working for, they banned him from this sphere for a lifetime. Rose failed to prove his innocence, despite denying all the allegations. But this wasn’t the end of the scandal surrounding this famous figure. Later in the 1990s, Peter was charged with tax evasion, when he decided to hide the income he had gained from his horse race winnings and sports souvenirs retail sales. As a consequence of these actions of his, he was sent to jail for five months.

But some stories do have happy endings! In 2004 all the charges against Peter Rose connected to his crimes in the past were officially dismissed. He claimed that they were caused by a severe gambling addiction, and that he was already getting the help he needed to overcome this problem.

Mobs to Blame. Tim Donaghy’s Сase

tim DonaghyTim Donaghy used to be a professional official at basketball events, who was particularly famous for his expertise and high level of skill. Back in the early 2000s, Donaghy made headlines in professional sports magazine editions, and nobody could ever have suspected him of any dark deeds. However, this man didn’t escape the faith of making the headlines as the “hero” of one of the biggest sports scam scandals out there.

Shockingly, Donaghy was involved in a scheme with some local Mafiosi, who forced him to cooperate with them. The story goes that the FBI accidentally stumbled upon the officiator during a large organized crime bust. The FBI claimed that the infamous officiator deliberately affected the point spread for basketball teams during two NBA sessions. He was later sentenced to prison for a period of 15 months, after he pleaded guilty to all the charges put to him at the Supreme Court.

Shady Socks


Another case from our “hall of fame” is the following story about how easily the reputation of America’s favorite sport can be blackened. This time we’re talking about Chicago White Sox. The events took place back in 1919, during the time organized crime was flourishing in Chicago. Criminals took all the niches of profitable businesses in America at that time; including money laundering, prostitution, gambling, and of course… Sports betting!

1919 Chicago White SoxThis notorious incident happened during the biggest baseball event of the year – the 1919 World Series. Chicago White Sox played against the least favored team, the Cincinnati Reds. Fans were confident that the victorious Sox were bound to win, as they had assembled experienced players in their midst, as well as having a great coach; but to their great surprise, the players were particularly bad on that day. They lost every game, as if it were some kind of deliberate choice of theirs. For the first time in their entire history, the Reds won; and much to the disappointment of the fans, the Socks had their worst performance ever.

And as it turned out, this wasn’t just a coincidence. Eight players from the Chicago White Sox were paid $100,000 to lose the World Series. And as was pretty usual at that time in history, it was the mobsters who were to blame. And when the police finally solved this mysterious case, all the men involved were banned for life from Major League Baseball. Even today, this case remains one of the most scandalous and indeed downright notorious cases in the entire modern history of baseball.

European Football Fraud

European football is one of the most hyped games in the sports industry as a whole, and it’s played almost everywhere in the world. There are millions, if not billions, of football supporters all over the world; and the industry’s total revenue totals reaches nearly $500 billion every year. Football constitutes almost 90% of all the bets made by European citizens. And if all those huge sums of money are circulating somewhere in the sports industry, then there’s always a way to sabotage the outcome of the game. And that’s exactly what criminals do… And as a matter of fact, it’s precisely how the most notorious scandal in the sphere of football actually came about!

footballAfter the investigation was held, right at the very heart of the Union of European Football Associations, it was revealed that certain criminal syndicates had given out around $1 million in cash to help control the outcome of certain football games; they had also bribed players, referees, and coaches, in order to make some huge profits from fixing games.

It turned out that the outcomes of about 200 matches were jeopardized by match fixing, in order to ensure certain beneficial results. This shocking news tarnished the good name of European football for quite some time. However, the effect of that scandal has already faded away by now, and people keep enjoying this popular sport: even losing their heads with excitement at times!


As dangerous and controversial as the sports betting industry can be, it still succeeds in luring people from all over the world to try their luck and to put their savvy to the test, so they can finally prove the team they support really are number one! But sometimes, it turns out that no matter how experienced and knowledgeable you are, there are still some factors that stop you from ever having a chance to win. For example, the boss of some criminal syndicate, whose plans may well be that little different from yours…


But nowadays, sports betting has become more transparent than in the past; and indeed, it’s relatively safe as well. So, you can now wager simply by clicking a couple of buttons on your screen. Online casinos offer this possibility; and it’s much easier to enjoy the games your favorite sports team are playing, knowing that you can always count on the possibility of earning some money!

You may also want to know:

  • Can professional athletes bet on sports?

Under no circumstances can a player bet on sporting events, whether they are actually participating in the match or not. This fact is true of all kinds of official sports events and associations: including NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, PGA, USTA, college basketball, and Olympic sports events. Just to be clear, this refers to all kinds of wagers, statistics, predictions, etc.

  • How much money is bet on sports each year?

NFL, along with college football, both wager around $95 billion each year. European football wagers around $500 billion annually. So if we’re talking about the total amount of money illegally wagered in bets throughout the USA, then this amount totals up to $150 billion every year!

  • What is the highest amount bet on sport?

The absolute winner in this category is European football (soccer). It’s estimated there are over $3 billion fans all over the world in total, and around 250 million of them do bet on this kind of sport on a regular basis; especially when it’s really easy to do it at online casinos!

  • Is it illegal to bet on sports?

It’s illegal to bet on sports in states that don’t allow gambling. However, there are still around 16 states that do provide you with that right: Nevada, Oregon, Montana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire.

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