SW Londoner’s top five epic sports gambles (that sometimes paid off)

We’ve all heard it before.

‘Gambling destroys the integrity of sports.’ ‘What kind of example does ­­gambling set for our children?’

Despite these please for ‘decency,’ gambling is prevalent by those both inside and outside of the sports world – legally and illegally.

Just to be clear, we’re not discussing Hail Mary passes at the end of games that have a 0.001% chance of getting caught.

Those are the well-advised, sportsmanlike wagers within the dynamic and rules of the game, not unlike visiting mobile casinos like

So read on as we examine the most infamous and egregious cases of gambling within professional sports.

The Black Sox

One has to go way back to 1919 to the most memorable sports scandal in history, for those from North America at least.

Eight White Sox players were banned from baseball for life for their role in getting paid $100,000 to lose the World Series.

Before you pass judgement, just remember that salaries weren’t what they are today (especially under Charles Comiskey, a notoriously stingy owner), and that was a lot of cheese back then, anyway.

Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittenton’s Guns in the Locker

This one got a lot of play relatively recently for its level of stupidity and unintentional humour when it was reported that NBA players Arenas and Crittenton tried to settle an unpaid $25,000 poker bet –played on one of the Washington Wizard’s away flights, mind you – with a gun threat to the knee.

This is a big deal because Arenas was a borderline superstar getting paid big bucks in a league that was trying desperately to clean up its image.

Arenas never returned to form after missing the rest of the season on suspension.

His Airness’ Pre-emptive Retirement Conspiracy

Michael Jordan, widely considered the greatest of all time to ever pick up a basketball, allegedly served a secret suspension after winning his first three-peat with the Chicago Bulls in 1993.

Rather than get into a PR mess, then-commissioner David Stern, who knew about Jordan’s massive debts and huge gambling problem, issued an 18-month punishment, or so say the whispers.

We might not ever know what really happened.

Michael Vick’s Dogfight Ring

Also receiving a lot of ink because of sensitivity to animal abuse, Atlanta Falcon star quarterback Michael Vick received a stiff two-year prison sentence after it was discovered he was placing up to $40,000 on a single dog fight.

The reality is that he probably did more than that, but it didn’t much matter since his contract was voided, he lost all his endorsements, and he ended up filing for bankruptcy.

Pete Rose’s Banishment from the Hall of Fame

Arguably the best player to have ever laced up on a baseball diamond, Cincinnati Reds shortstop Pete Rose will probably never see the vaunted hall of fame, in spite of the fact that he was recently recognised by the MLB for his career accomplishments as one of the best Reds in history.

This is due to his betting on 52 occasions in 1987 as the manager of the Reds, even allegedly betting against his own team.

Many believe what he did was a travesty, but an even greater one still that his on-the-field accomplishments are not formally recognised.

You can read more sports news on Satta Makta.

Picture courtesy of Images_of_Money, with thanks

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