Sports lottery to include CPBL starting Saturday

READY TO GO: The first game open to those interested in placing bets will be the Uni-President Lions versus the Brother Elephants, Taipei Fubon Bank said yesterday

By Shelley Shan  /  STAFF REPORTER

Tue, Mar 24, 2009 - Page 2

Starting Saturday, the first day of the Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL) season, the public will be able to bet on games at sports lottery stores, Taipei Fubon Bank said yesterday.

The bank said last year that it hoped to list CPBL games among the betting choices before the Beijing Olympics in August, but the goal was not met.

The first CPBL game open to those interested in placing bets will be the Uni-President Lions versus the Brother Elephants.

Sports Affairs Council (SAC) Minister Tai Hsia-ling (戴遐齡) said that legislation governing sports lotteries was expected to be passed soon, which she hoped would help curb game-fixing scandals that have plagued professional baseball for years.

“One of the articles addresses the issue of criminal liability for those who try to fix [game] results,” she said. “Hopefully, the measure will help prevent players from getting involved in gambling scandals.”

The CPBL also said they had amended regulations to bar anyone related to baseball games — including team managers and all CPBL staff — from betting on games.

Anyone directly related to a game who is caught violating the new rule will be fired and anyone indirectly related to a game will be suspended from their position for a year, the CPBL said.

Meanwhile, the bank said betters would be able to choose between “handicap,” “hi-lo” and “correct score” in the initial stages of the baseball lottery.

A person will be able to choose “handicap” when a strong team is playing a weak team to equalize the chances of winning for both teams.

“Hi-lo” refers to an option where the bookmaker estimates the total score of both teams. Gamblers can then bet whether the outcome exceeds or falls short of the estimated total score.

When choosing “correct score,” a person placing a bet will be rewarded for predicting the exact score of the game.

The prize will be distributed equally among the winners.

“You have to place bets on three games at a time, including two CPBL games and a baseball game in another country” Taipei Fubon Bank vice president Richard Yang (楊瑞東) said.

“Prizes will be given to those who win all three of them,” he said.

Yang said betting on the World Baseball Classics this month had contributed to a daily revenue of NT$40 million.

Yang said he hoped revenue would reach NT$50 million next month with the new lottery options.

The legislation governing the sale of sports lotteries, which would require that 90 percent of earnings from sports lotteries be used for sports purposes, passed its first reading in the legislature last month.