Like it has been documented, ATP and WTA tennis circuits are suspended – same happens to all ITF events – but some low-ranking players are still participating in exhibition tournaments, most of them available for betting online in some bookmarks, which alerted some formal entities.
In tennis, like in every other sport it’s expressively prohibited for an athlete to bet on those sports events that he’s part of because obviously he can be a crucial part in the outcome. For that reason, ATP recently send an e-mail to all the professional players regarding the possible temptation or enticement that could be part in this special occasion, since some of this tennis players aren’t making any money without competing.
Well, with this exhibition tournaments – some of them even sponsored by bookmakers – there’s a danger of opening a “Pandora’s Box” which could take some athletes to be persuaded to fix games since this is not a tournament under the legislation of ATP.
This message sent to all the tennis players it’s a clear attempt to dissuade and alert to the potential consequences of abusing acts at this level, hoping that no issues will happen, because what we want is tennis to be back as soon as possible at the highest level with important tournaments and big monetary prizes.
EXHBITION TOURNAMENTS COULD BE THE WAY TO GO, FOR NOW
The controversy generated by this exhibition tournaments was installed when a bookmark decided to sponsor these events, spreading 25.000 dollars in monetary prizes while streaming live matches in their website with, of course, live bets regarding those matches.
The International Tennis Series is being played in a Bradenton private club, in Florida, and there is even some professional players which are some known names like the Italian veteran Paolo Lorenzi or the future young star from Bulgaria Adrian Andreev.
The International Tennis Series is a creation of @HarryCicma
– 4 different players playing round-robin tournament daily for next few months. 4-figure prize goes to each day winner. More about some of the world's only live televised sports in @sbjsbd #Covid19 newsletter tonight pic.twitter.com/Og99eXrkdo
— Bret McCormick (@Bretjust1T) April 20, 2020
According to tennis website “Bola Amarela”, it’s probable that the TIU (Tennis Integrity Unit) is already investigating all the conditions and format in which this tournament has been played and if it goes by the basic laws of tennis, trying to contain deplorable moments with fixed games.
Normally, the specialists at this kind of gap exploration try to make money as usual as possible and it will be important to preserve that some of the players could be involved at corruptions like this in times where regular competition is suspended because of well-known reasons – keeping public health safe and control spreading of Covid-19.
SITUATION COULD LAST UNTIL JULY
The ATP together with ITF has declared a week ago that all official tennis competition would not resume before July 13th, which means, at best, all professional circuits will only be back 3 months from now. Well, this will open a gap to possible proliferation to these kind of tournaments, low regarded and without a lot of exposure that could allow some players to make money during this crisis.
Naturally, like I described above, this could incite some sensible questions with bookmarks and corruption scenarios between tennis players which makes crucial that authorities stay aware to these events, and players should think twice before getting into these black-market situations.
— Desporto24 (@Desporto24PT) April 21, 2020
In all seriousness, a simple careless attitude from a player that enters this corruptions schemes could be very impactful for organizations and players that try, certainly every day, to keep this sport well quoted and try to eradicate all these illegal stunts that try to ruin a beautiful sport.
BETTORS COULD HAVE AN IMPORTANT ROLL ALSO
Normally, all the recreating bettors or some of them with more addiction behaviors tend to bet in every possible and that, naturally, improves the margin of possible events being manipulated.
On the other side, if bettors don’t think that these tournaments have credibility and merely think of them has exhibition matches for some players, neglecting the betting appealing, it’s more certain that these events won’t last long, because they will use their auto sustainability.
I bet all our readers are now thinking: In a time where the betting events are almost none, is there a possibility that those events won’t be highly profitable? Well, unfortunately, I agree with you and I consider that civil and tennis authorities should be full aware during this period of time.