Tennis Pros + Gambling + Twitter

by , Aug 31, 2009 | 2:17 am

While poker seems to like what tweeting from the field of play brings to the table, tennis people — specifically the Tennis Integrity Unit (wow) — do not want to see anything on twitter saying, “returning serve. whoa! that was close!” because of fears the communications will be misappropriated by gamblers.

From the New York Times:

The signs, written by the Tennis Integrity Unit, point out that Twitter messages could violate the sport’s corruption rules. Tennis appears to be the first sport openly concerned about Twitter’s possible effect on gambling.

The signs say tweeting is not allowed on court during matches. They also warn about using Twitter away from the court, saying sending “certain sensitive information” could be considered passing along inside information.


  • Kevin Mathers

    I guess there’s also concerned about the ongoing controversies over match-fixing:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nikolay_Davydenko#Controversies for example

  • BJ Nemeth

    A longer, more in-depth version of this article was sent out by the Associated Press a few days ago:

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090829/ap_on_sp_te_ne/ten_us_open_twitter

    Tennis has taken a stupid stance here. Twitter is a public feed; who cares what a tennis player posts there? If you’re trying to flush out insider gambling tips, I think forcing them into a publicly available feed is a *great* idea.

    Yes, a player could post false information trying to affect the betting lines. Guess what? The players can already do that in a variety of ways that have nothing to do with Twitter — but if it’s on Twitter, then everyone is on equal footing and there is a virtual paper trail with which to confront the suspected player after the fact. (“Why did you claim to have a bad ankle the day of that match?”) It’s damn near impossible to prove what that same player said in a private conversation or phone call.

    This situation proves to me that Tennis doesn’t “get it” when it comes to the internet and social networking.

  • BJ Nemeth

    Also, the longer article makes this stupid claim: “Twitter, launched in 2006, first gained popularity as a way for fans to follow the thoughts and activities of celebrities via messages of 140 characters or fewer.”

    That is *not* how Twitter first gained popularity. It spread through the tech world first, and most non-Wil Wheaton celebrities didn’t discover Twitter until it was already “popular.”