Tennis 'courtsiding'

Planet Money


Sports betting as Kenny learn the hardway is about out having as much information as possible before you bet or having friends who will share information with you go on so tennis sports bettors unlike Kenny. We have found this way to maximize the information they get do under the secret y-yeah you physically go to the match. Oh like be there live in person right right because if you're at home watching on TV there's a delay wait for like the umpire to press the button to get the score in but if you were there live you know before everybody else and so gamblers actually hire people to go to matches. They're called court ciders and I heard about them from this tennis journalist Ben Rothenberg. If you're courtside or you go to a tennis match you sit sit there and you push a button each time so I went to the point. If player a wins the point you press one button to player. B wins the point. You press another button. So are you telling me that it is somebody's job job to fly around the world and watch tennis matches and unlike press a button on their phone. That's a that is a job. Somebody could have right. You're in Monaco one week here in Madrid the next week come moths or what are we doing. Radio Okay so ben says there is a downside to this job. which is that tennis officials? Do not like anything that has to do with gambling. Is it feel icky as they make this kind of slippery slope argument where today maybe you're just sending scores tomorrow. Maybe you're like offering a player a bribe to take take a dive why that seems like quite a quite a slope but okay so what is developed is this kind of cat and mouse game right on one side. You've got the court. CIDERS sitting in the stands ends drying to send their updates on the other side. You've got the the officials from the tennis tournament trying to stop them. So at any given tournament match there will be people who are called spotters who are surveying the crowd walking around taking looks looking at their book of faces that people thin apprehended or who are known court ciders and matching people up so ben was at this tournament in Charleston and he actually saw one of these court ciders getting taken out by the security guard though and they sort of pinned him to the ground and I noticed that he had a wig wig that had fallen off his wig. We're kind of a WIG. was that was like a long hair. He said it was just like some cheap halloween week. It was obviously like Lens. It came off CERTA. The JIG was up ten system odd characters but even by those standards that was that was pretty strange. What is interesting to me about. What's going on. Here used to be the way you made money. If you're a tennis association was you sold Broadcasting Rights Yeah but then a few years ago they figured out hey we can sell the score the data rate we can sell forty fifteen forty thirty deuce right. We can sell that on to gambling websites to news sites okay A. and if I'm running a gambling website I'm obligated to do that otherwise my thing isn't going to work exactly but the court siders then are in direct competition with that stream of data there pirating the data the tennis organization would argue right then. It's a strange thing from a more free speech point of view honestly and here's a legal question. I mean I'm at a match and talking to you on the foam at the match and say Hey Nidal's up to one in the first set. I can't imagine that I'm breaking any rule by doing that. But the tennis this data rights police would say that you were in fact they say it right on the ticket if you go to the US Open the fine print on your ticket said something about how you are not allowed to transmit information for gambling purposes if they catch you court citing they kick you out. If you come back they will charge you with trespassing. His name is a casino that kicks people after counting cards. Counting Card is not against the law but it is against the House rules the Casino and tennis tournaments have that same kind of casino ethos that's when it comes to court

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