Courtsiding does it still work? well, Imagine attending a live sporting event, say an ATP Tour tennis tournament, and the bloke seating next to you keeps fiddling with his mobile phone whenever there is a defining action in play.
For the uninitiated, this may seem like a harmful exercise, maybe the person is trying to get things done in his office while still watching the game. However, for an experienced punter, the actions of the “gentleman” may appear suspiciously like “Courtsiding”.
You may ask – “what the heck is Courtsiding anyway?”, well to know what it is exactly, you might want to continue reading through this post.
So, What is Courtsiding?
Without wasting too much of your time, in explaining what Courtsiding is, it is important to paint a scenario.
So back to the ATP Tour tennis match involving Serena Williams versus her sister Venus Williams (purely fictional). Imagine been courtside with this bloke in question and every time a point is won, say by Serena, he quickly clicks a button on his phone as if to acknowledge the point gained. While this may seem odd to someone who is attending the live match simply to watch a game of pro-tennis, to a gambler this is a dead giveaway!
To a gambler, especially an experienced one, the person is a Courtsiding.
There are many definitions of Courtsiding. But I decided to try to make my definition as easy to understand as possible to both the gambling and non-gambling public. I call it “My Definition of Courtsiding”.
My Definition of Courtsiding
I define Courtsiding as an action taken by an individual or group, where they attend a live sporting event, particularly tennis, with the deliberate intention of placing bets on the game, but hoping to do so (i.e. place bets) while having an edge over punters that may be watching the match on TV.
You see what many people do not realise is that the live sporting event that you watch on cable TV may have a couple or so seconds of delay time. These games that are beamed to you live have to be processed before you actually receive them.
Many cameras may be involved and each camera has to pass their feed to the studio engineers before it is then passed to millions of viewers at home. While in truth, technology had made live TV viewing an almost real time event, there is still some seconds of delay in reality. It is this short space of time that Courtsiders (i.e. people that engage in Courtsiding) use in order to gain an edge (even if its a small one) over punters viewing a match on TV and placing bets based on what he/she has seen on television.
Now the reason why I started off with tennis of all sports, is simply because Courtsiding derived its name from this sport. However, Courtsiding as an art, is prevalent in other sporting events, such as; horse racing, golf, cricket, and football.
Back in the day Courtsiding was a really big thing. You had people literally with laptops at live sporting events, placing bets while a live sporting event was in progress. This craze was really in vogue at the early years of online betting sites like Betfair.
Even known Courtsiders have written best seller books chronicling their Courtsiding exploits. One of such notorious Courtsiders is Brad Hutchins and his book on Courtsiding titled “Game, Set and Cash” tells of how he would travel to attend live sporting events all around the world with the strict intention of placing in-play bets.
If you are thinking of following his path, well I have bad news for you. As much as Courtsiding may seem like an exciting and rewarding thing to do, it is actually Illegal at a vast majority of live sporting events and in many countries around the world.
In Australia for example, their “Integrity in Sports Act” clearly declares Courtsiding as illegal. It even goes as far as stating that Courtsiders caught in the act would stand the ominous possibility of been arrested, charged to court, prosecuted and if found guilty, serve a lengthy jail time.
In 2014 a British man was arrested for Courtsiding at the Australian open the 22 year old was charged with “engaging in conduct that would corrupt a betting outcome,” deputy commissioner Graham Ashton told reporters.
At many live sporting events there are people mandated to spot and apprehend Courtsiders. So Courtsiding is an illegal act even if some countries have not formally declared it illegal. Organisers of many of these sporting events, be it tennis, horse racing, cricket, golf or football, all have measures in place to clampdown hard on individuals attending the events for the primary purpose of Courtsiding.
Organisers of Wimbledon for example, deploy the services of spotters at matches and where a person has been caught red-handed, that individual will be banned for life from attending any Wimbledon tournament.
Courtsiding a Dying Art!
In truth, even online betting sites like Betfair have put in place measures to curb any advantage that Courtsiders think they may have. For example, Betfair and other similar betting sites have time delays which can be quite lengthy at times, on those bets that are being made by punters. This eliminates those few seconds of advantage that Courtsiders seem to rely on.
Now the high risk of being caught Courtsiding, banned for life from attending live sporting or charged to court for a criminal offence, has made Courtsiding less attractive to individuals. Coupled with the lengthy time delays by online betting sites as mentioned before, Courtsiding seems to be a dying art.
Having said that, it must be mentioned that there are still some die-hard individuals who are hell bent on gaining an unfair advantage over other punters, one way or another with Courtsiding presenting them with that opportunity to do so.
Despite the clear constraints on Courtsiding, there are still some criminal elements operating as an organised syndicate with many people involved who still favour Courtsiding as part of their strategies for gaining an in-play betting advantage in live sporting events.
The good news is, in order to maintain their gambling and betting license, online betting exchanges have to ensure that every single betting opportunity on their site is seen to be absolutely, 100% fair and without prejudice.
So Courtsiders looking to capitalise and leverage on being at a live sporting event as a “cheat code” to get one over other gamblers would now have to think thrice about their activities and should consider a more legal approach in the form of tennis tipsters instead..