Posted by: olymponomics | February 29, 2012

The ‘next big Olympic risk’

Continuing my previous discussion of ‘risk talk’ in planning for the Olympics, the problem of illegal betting and fixing is increasingly prominent in the pre-event warnings of organizers. Indeed, it could be argued that the issue has replaced the emphasis on security concerns that has dominated since 2001 (pushing security costs upwards). IOC President Jacques Rogge has described illegal betting as his ‘biggest fear‘. Ahead of London 2012, organizers have highlighted the measures that are to be put in place to monitor for suspicious activities on betting exchanges. While fixing is now often presented as the ‘next big thing’, just as the issues of doping and terrorism before it, this does not mean that other risks have been eradicated (although mitigation is now the norm). Rather it is consistent with the selective attention of decision-makers — the ‘availability heuristic‘ — tending to ‘lock on’ to more readily available information in their prediction of future events.

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