When I first heard about point-shaving, my mind immediately went to razorblades, beards, and mustaches. However, already then, I reasoned that body hair and sharp blades couldn’t be involved as the context doesen’t match. I know what an intelligent detective I am.
I started to research the subject and saw many people asking about point-shaving in various forums and discussion boards. After witnessing that, I wanted to create my resource about the fascinating subject of point shaving. So, what does it mean?
Point shaving is match-fixing in organized sports where the players influence the outcome of the game’s score margin is smaller than predicted by bookmakers. This is a crime where one or multiple gamblers bribe one or multiple team players for a mutually beneficial scam.
So, after all, point-shaving isn’t as pleasant as it sounds because it’s a federal crime that can result in heavy sentences such as prison and heavy fines. For example, this was the case in 1982 when three out of five men were sentenced for point-shaving, resulting in 20 years and $30,00 of prison time for the convict most heavily sentenced. Also, two men got 10 and 4 years of prison time and no fines.
To pull successful point-shaving off, one needs to know the high-profile player(s), convince them well enough with a silver tongue or a large bribe, and hope no one notices. In contrast, the players must succeed in the actual point-shaving, which is far from easy as the majority of the team won’t be involved, and too apparent intentional failures during the game would arouse suspicion.
It’s safe to say that point-shaving is extremely difficult. Yet, it’s’ possible, some have been caught, and some aren’t. You can also believe that it’s still being done to this day.
Speaking of executing the scam of point-shaving, all sports aren’t equal when it comes to it. In team sports, point-shaving is easiest in basketball because the field is small, and scores are made consistently. Point-shaving can and has been done in the NFL and hockey, yet a sport like soccer is one of the most difficult ones as fewer goals and opportunities arise for the players during the game.
The last thing before moving on, point-shaving is done in spread betting instead of regular sports betting. Spread betting is waged by estimating the score gap between the teams, not which team will win or lose. It’s far easier to point-shave the score difference of the game’s outcome rather than winning or losing. Also, it’s more subtle to shave points than to lose an entire game by faking it.
How Do You Shave Points
Point shaving is done by making a deal with high-profile professional athletes from leagues such as NFL, NBA, and NHL, giving the rich players a reason or bribe large enough for them to accept, and making it successful. If you ask me, that sounds scary and difficult.
Let’s take a closer look at the actual steps of how people do point-shaving;
1. Find a player(s)
People looking to point-shave are usually people of some power and wealth because the bribes need to be enticing enough for the players. You might ask yourself why would a professional athlete risk himself if he is already earning millions. The answer is because the spending rate is the same or considerably more. Thus, point-shavers target athletes they know need extra spending money and funds.
However, the targets can also be from any league where wages can be issued. For example, a major difference between the NFL and college football is that college football players doesen’t get officially paid. Thus, a large or mediocre bribe can be enticing enough to accept the deal.
Point-shaving disadvantages drastically outweigh the advantages.
Yet, some people might not have an option if they are in deep with their financial choices, so they desperately need money.
2. Set the bribe & wage
After finding a player or many interested in point-shaving, it’s time to set the bribe. The sum of the bribe can drastically vary depending on the player’s life situation. For example, an NFL player that isn’t desperate would charge considerably more than one that is soon bankrupt. College football players also accept smaller bribes as they aren’t used to seeing large sums of money.
Next, it’s time to set the wage. Nowadays, bet amounts can be extremely high as there are many new wealthy people, so large sums rarely raise suspicion. Being smart is a good idea, so the bets are placed on multiple providers, not just one.
3. Hope for the best
Now that the wheels of point-shaving are in motion, the only thing one can do is hope for the best. The players must do their part subtle enough, and they need to succeed in it for the bribers to cash in. I’m not certain whether the bribe for the players is paid before or after the game as I haven’t done point-shaving and never will, but I’d imagine the bribe is paid if the point-shaving is successful.
People use these three steps are used by people fixing matches by point-shaving, and I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone. Yet, it’s important to acknowledge and broadcast the steps so people know how it is done to prevent it better.
Why Is Points Shaving Illegal?
It’s widely known that point-shaving is illegal, yet many people often ask why this is. There are various reasons why point-shaving is illegal that I think everyone needs to know.
Point shaving is illegal because it affects the natural course of the game, people’s financial situations, bets, the right to compete fairly, integrity of the sports.
Imagine if point-shaving were legal. It would be chaos beyond control, nothing would be real, and fair betting would be pointless. When a game is fixed by an attempt of point-shaving, everyone else except scammers would be involved in unfair betting, which can affect people’s financial situation.
In high-profile professional matches, we are talking about millions of people and hundreds of millions, if not billions of dollars.
Thus, point-shaving must be illegal to preserve order and fairness in the sporting world.
Who Invented Point Shaving?
Point-shaving has grown into a well-known scam that isn’t (that we know of) commonly used, yet it is certainly used. So, who is the mystery person behind this method, and when did it all start?
It’s unknown who invented point shaving, but the world gained information about it in 1950. Junius Kellogg, a college baseball player, reported that he was offered a bribe, which led to an investigation to catch the scammers. Five men, two ex-CCNY stars, and three bookmakers were caught.
This resulted in a chain reaction, which ultimately revealed that 32 players were taking bribes from the bribers. In addition, the point-shaving wasn’t just done by the caught men; in fact, the 32 students were from six different schools, revealing the magnitude of the scam.
What Is Match-Fixing?
Match-fixing is often connected to point-shaving as they have similar features. However, they aren’t the same, and you should know the differences. So, what is match-fixing?
Match-fixing is manipulating the game to achieve a desired pre-determined outcome. This is mostly done in organized sports where betting is allowed. Therefore, match-fixing raises the chances of winning bets and earning dishonored money. Match-fixing is illegal.
Point-shaving is just one way to fix a match, whereas match-fixing holds many other methods to manipulate the match’s outcome.
Some other match-fixing techniques include:
- Organization-based match-fixing
- Relationship-based match-fixing
- Sustenance-based match-fixing
- Goal-based match-fixing
These four main categories of match-fixing vary by magnitude, earning power, difficulty, and other ways. The one thing in common is that they are all match-fixing types and very illegal, resulting in large fines and long prison sentences.
My Favorite Football Equipment
Thanks for reading this article. I hope it brought you great value you can implement in your life. Finally, below you can find my favorite football equipment that I think would serve you well on the field!
- Football: I like to get quality things at once, so I don’t need to replace everything after a short while. And for that reason, Wilson “The Duke” Football is the only choice for that. You can get this authentic NFL football as an official game ball or a cheaper metallic edition version. Whichever you might choose, The Duke is the only official football in the league’s history, making it the best choice.
- Cleats: Cleats play an important role in football as they are the traction between you and the field. There is no better than the Nike Vapor Edge Pro 360, and for a good reason. The cleats feature a lightweight, short upper, supporting lacing system and a wide stud layout for fast speed and reliable traction. Oh, and all the various designs are beyond stunning!
- Gloves: No matter whether you throw or receive the ball, you can say goodbye to your performance if you don’t have proper gloves. Enter Seibetron Receiver Gloves equipped with various benefits, such as excellent grip on the fingers and palms, great durability, and a green light for machine washing!
- Fan Equipment: If you’re a fan more than a player, you don’t want to miss Fan Equipment by Fanatics. You can find items from various sports that bear your favorite team’s logo, such as jerseys, gift ideas, or other surprising things.