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Silly Prop Bet Turns Into Major Gambling Violation

By Mike Sullivan

Wayne Shaw is 46 years old, weighs over 300 pounds, used to work as an ice cream man, and he now serves as stadium caretaker and goalkeeping coach for Sutton United. Oh and he also serves as the team’s backup goalkeeper.

During United’s game against Arsenal, he was photographed eating a pie with about 10 minutes left in the match. Nothing is wrong with this right? He’s a silly guy just having a little fun. Or was he.

It turned into a big problem because one betting company was offering 8/1 odds that cameras would capture Shaw eating a pie during the match (a joke bet, but with a very real payout). Shaw admitted he was aware of the wager, and that some of his friends had taken it.

“A few of the lads said to me earlier on: ‘What is going on with the 8-1 about eating a pie?’ I said: ‘I don’t know, I’ve eaten nothing all day, so I might give it a go later on,’” he said. “Sun Bets had us at 8-1 to eat a pie. I thought I would give them a bit of banter and let’s do it. All the subs were on and we were 2-0 down.

“I went and got it at half time from the kitchen, I had it all prepared and ready to go. It was meat and potato,” added Shaw.

This seems to be a clear gambling violation if he had indeed told his friends to place the bet, or ate the pie solely to pay off the bet.

The country’s Gambling Commission announced it has launched an investigation into the pie-eating incident, though any potential discipline there would fall upon the bookmaker and not Shaw. The FA will handle any actions against Shaw, because this could be against their rules too.

FA rules say players should not “instruct, permit, cause or enable” any person to bet the “result, progress, conduct or any other aspect of, or occurrence in, a football match or competition.” Players are also not allowed to give others insider details “any information relating to football” which has been “obtained by virtue of his or her position within the game.”

Asked if he knew anyone had backed the bet, he replied: “I think there were a few people. Obviously we are not allowed to bet. I think a few of the mates and a few of the fans.

“It was just a bit of banter for them. It is something to make the occasion as well and you can look back and say it was part of it and we got our ticket money back.”

Following the controversy over the pie-fixing scandal, Shaw has offered his resignation to the club chairman (apparently after being asked) and it has been accepted.

I have always wondered if this stuff happens more often. I mean we constantly see dumb prop bets that can easily be controlled by sports figures, especially broadcasters.

Some are as simple as “what color suit will ___ wear?” or will the word ___ be said on the broadcast? These are bets that are easily controllable.

It sure seems like this is exactly what Shaw did. He controlled the bet, and lost his job doing so. A clear gambling violation.

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