TNT, Caesars Combine For A Sports Betting Fail On Broadcast

Written By Dustin Gouker on May 27, 2019 - Last Updated on February 21, 2020

There were always going to be missteps as legal sports betting rolled out across the US.

But a bunch of major players combined for a massive facepalm as part of Game 6 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals.

The sports betting fail in video form

Let’s set the stage.

Caesars Entertainment has a deal with Turner Sports via Bleacher Report “to develop gaming-related sports content.” Caesars is planning on having an increasing footprint in sports gambling in the US as it becomes more widely legal.

The relationship showed up in the pre-game show for the Toronto Raptors vs. Milwaukee Bucks, on the TNT broadcast:

Here’s the head-scratching part of this segment: The prop bets involving superstar Drake and the Raptors game didn’t exist at any Caesars sportsbook, nor at any legal sportsbook in the US.

Those bets were only taken at offshore sportsbooks operating illegally in the US, and all the parties involved should be embarrassed by what they broadcast.

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Why this is a problem for US sports betting

Everyone here should be mortified:

  • Caesars has a deal with Turner to promote its sports betting properties, and just plain old legal sports betting, one would think. Caesars should be clearly telling Bleacher Report what is and isn’t in bounds. Otherwise, why are they bothering with this show at all?
  • TNT/Turner Broadcasting/Bleacher Report is supposed to be helping Caesars and instead is just promoting offshore sportsbooks. What’s really strange is that Kelly Stewart, one of the co-hosts for the segment, surely knows the props aren’t taken in Las Vegas or at Caesars properties.
  • The NBA has also said it wants to help with moving sports betting from offshore to the legal market. An official broadcast doing this should be cringe-worthy if I am sitting in an NBA office. The league should have been on the phone immediately to everyone involved to get this fixed moving forward.

Here’s hoping everyone does a better job the next time we see a betting segment on national TV.

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Dustin Gouker

Dustin Gouker has been a sports journalist for more than 15 years, working as a reporter, editor and designer -- including stops at The Washington Post and the D.C. Examiner. You can also find his work at Legal Sports Report.

View all posts by Dustin Gouker