The Sports Bribery Act: A Law and Economics Approach

22 Pages Posted: 20 Jan 2016

See all articles by John T. Holden

John T. Holden

Oklahoma State University

Ryan M. Rodenberg

Florida State University - College of Education; Florida State University - College of Law

Date Written: January 20, 2016

Abstract

Sports bribery and match-fixing have become a part of the on-going sports news cycle. European and Asian match-fixing scandals in soccer, cricket and tennis have rocked the sports world recently. The 1919 Black Sox World Series scandal and the 1970’s Boston College point shaving incidents have illustrated that the manipulation of sporting events is a global scourge. This paper examines the corruption cases that led to the 1964 passage of the Sports Bribery Act (18 U.S.C. § 224). We discuss the scope of the statute, its operation with complementary and ancillary federal and state laws, and the reported instances of the statute’s application. The economic discussion focuses on Becker’s model for optimal deterrence, its application to the Sports Bribery Act, and an examination of the implications regarding the utility for would-be match-fixers. The paper concludes with a discussion of the challenges facing a policy change, including the complexity of regulating both professional and amateur sport, methods of detection, and jurisdictional issues raised by the global nature of match-fixing.

Keywords: Sports Bribery Act, Match-Fixing, Gambling, Sport Policy, Gaming, Corruption

JEL Classification: L83, K00, K14, K42, L50, L80, L82

Suggested Citation

Holden, John and Rodenberg, Ryan M., The Sports Bribery Act: A Law and Economics Approach (January 20, 2016). Northern Kentucky Law Review, Vol. 42, No. 3, 2015. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2718936

John Holden (Contact Author)

Oklahoma State University ( email )

201 Business Building
Stillwater, OK 74078-0555
United States

Ryan M. Rodenberg

Florida State University - College of Education ( email )

Tully Gym 1002
1114 W. Call Street
Tallahassee, FL 32306-4450
United States
850-645-9535 (Phone)
850-644-0974 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://education.fsu.edu/faculty-and-staff/dr-ryan-rodenberg

Florida State University - College of Law ( email )

425 W. Jefferson Street
Tallahassee, FL 32306
United States
850-645-9535 (Phone)
850-644-0974 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://education.fsu.edu/faculty-and-staff/dr-ryan-rodenberg

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