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Another item for the FIFA are bleeding idiots file

Item in today's RP suggests FIFA are considering banning in-play betting on football over corruption fears. 'What a great idea' will say the do-gooders and Daily Mail readers who don't have a clue about the outside world. Any knowledge of betting in football will let you swiftly decide this is the stupidest idea since awarding the World Cup to a country which bans alcohol and homosexuality, doesn't even have to hotel capacity to cater for one full stadium of visitors and will be 45-50C during July.

Mark Davies has written an excellent post on it here - UEFA and FIFA: focus, please!

If bookmakers offer 'micro-betting', markets on tiny events during the match such as next free kick or next throw-in, who is taking the risk? The bookie. What is a bookie's job to do? Manage risk. What happens when people fall out of trees to back one option in a multi-selection, reasonably random market? They shut it off and investigate, maybe even alerting sporting authorities.

These are not markets where big bets are accepted unless you have the word MUG stamped across your forehead (i.e. You are a high-rolling loser with that bookmaker). Bookies know the famous Matt Le Tissier throw-in story from the 90s. These types of markets have the potential to be manipulated so the %s bet are wide and the risk taken is low. It's a product for the 'very' recreational punter who'd rather bet on an event within a sporting contest than on an electronic random number generation contest in the casino. Few bookies offer this stuff anyway, the ones which do are incredibly quick on the 'restrict bets' control if a punter starts winning.

As hinted at by the Sportingbet spokesman in the RP article - the majority of in-play football betting still goes through the unregulated markets in Asia. No amount of interference with European bookies will make an iota of difference to them; if anything it will only increase their turnover.

Yet more proof that FIFA is a body of self-serving idiots out of touch with the rest of the world.... unless someone from that world turns up with suitcases full of cash.

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