Monday, 16 February 2015

Why does the ICC care about 'courtsiding'?

The Christchurch Press has more details on 'courtsiding' at the Cricket World Cup.

They're describing the folks placing bets based on up-to-date information at the game, as opposed to those on 15 second tv-delay, as "betting cheats". And it says the cops have plainclothes officers at the matches watching for it.
Courtsiding refers to a spectator at an event sending immediate information on game scores and activities before it is broadcast. The delay can be up to 15 seconds and allows people overseas to make spot bets.
Superintendent Sandy Manderson said yesterday that some of the cheats caught at Saturday's game lived in New Zealand. The others were overseas visitors.  
Manderson said plainclothes police trained in spotting courtsiders, as well as members of the public, identified the men.
They were relatively easy to spot because of the technology they used, including cellphones and laptops. 
 "We noticed a number of people courtsiding, pitchsiding or cheating whatever you like to call it," she said.  "Some of them [the cheats] have multiple telephones.
"We've got a list of some people we're watching  ...  We know what to look for." 
The cheats were interviewed, but not arrested. 
Hypotheses about why the ICC might care:

  • The ICC, or its officials in their private capacity, are themselves already betting from courtside, enjoying the information advantage, and don't like anybody else reducing the spread;
  • The ICC reckons that the tv rights sell for a tiny bit less where subscribers pay extra for live feed so they can bet during play; they then are willing to pay less for that live feed if those courtside are updating the prices before they can move.
I'd bet on the first one, based only on that it seems awfully unlikely that overall TV rights diminish that much in value; the punters are going to be inframarginal.

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