The AFL has handed a lengthy suspension to Collingwood player Jaidyn Stephenson, who was found to have bet a total of $36 on exotic bets, including one that he himself would kick a goal. Stephenson was silly to make the bets, but clearly there was nothing sinister here. This article points out the hypocrisy of the AFLs high-minded stance in combination with their eagerness to take money from the betting companies.
On the other hand, the availability of bets seems to me to make corruption inevitable.
Suppose that a player is willing to break the rules and is short of money. They can get a friend to back them for a large amount to score a goal. Then, they have a strong incentive to take a shot whenever the chance presents itself, even if they could pass to a team-mate in a better position. Or, they could get their friend to back a particular team-mate and pass to that player whenever possible.
I’ve wondered about this for a long time. Is it happening? It seems like it would be just about impossible to detect. It’s worth comparing horse racing, where there have been plenty of examples, even the options for cheating are far more limited – in essence, doping the horse, doing a Fine Cotton style substitution, or riding to lose in full view of the stewards.