Mainstream Media Needs To Stop Spreading Misinformation About Sports Betting

Posted By Marc Meltzer on June 4, 2018 - Last Updated on May 12, 2021

Most experienced sports bettors in the United States know what they can and can’t bet on. However, we’re the exception. Believe it or not, most citizens of this country haven’t gambled on sports because legal sports betting hasn’t been easily accessible.

The mainstream sports media falls into the same category as the mainstream population. They’re often uneducated and ignorant to how legal and illegal sports betting operates. This will change as states legalize gambling.

In the meantime sportsbook staffers like Jeff Sherman at the Westgate in Las Vegas still have to explain what kind of betting is legal in the U.S.

This tweet was made during the weekend but the mainstream media DGAF. Even national radio host Colin Cowherd, who brings sports betting “experts” on his show regularly, mentioned the odds of LeBron James going to another team as “odds from Vegas.” Someday he’ll understand that all sports betting odds aren’t generated in Las Vegas.

Offshore sportsbooks can offer proposition bets on just about anything they feel like offering. The Nevada Gaming Control Board has very tight regulations on what we’re allowed to wager on in the state. Other states that legalize gambling should have similar oversight.

Mainstream media needs to get their shit together

Ever since PASPA was struck down the mainstream sports media has decided to talk sports betting more frequently. There are some very knowledgeable people on the subject spreading the good word. However, they are few and far between. Talking heads on TV and podcasts and writers for websites are trying to discuss a topic that they don’t understand. Al Leiter is not helping MLB or MLB Network with ignorant statements like this.

The hosts of these media outlets now have to discuss a topic they’ve spent little to no time researching. National radio shows still use offshore odds and point spreads and refer to them as being from “Vegas.” This creates confusion for listeners and reader who really want to know the information they can bet on.

American sports betting odds go local and mainstream

Las Vegas has always been the origin of sports betting odds in America. In recent years, the Westgate has done a great job being the point of origin for a lot of the information shared on ESPN and other networks. That could change and customers should be able to find sports betting information originating in the United States from multiple sources.

Sports betting information news should start to be distributed locally and regionally. Local media will be able to see information from the sports betting outlets in their area. Delaware media will likely tout local sportsbook operators instead of the number originating in Las Vegas and off-shore. This creates more meaningful news content for their viewers and readers.

Whether you like the way they do business or not, William Hill does a great job sharing their news with the media. Will Hill should be the first sportsbook operator in New Jersey and will take their PR stylings to the east coast. Media in New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania will be educated on sports betting, in part, by William Hill.

The other incoming sportsbook operators coming to New Jersey do a poor job marketing their sportsbooks in Nevada but that could (and should) change with the large east coast betting population. It appears as though Jay Rood from MGM Resorts International will be licensed in New Jersey in time for legalization. Expect this Nevada bookmaker to share his knowledge on the betting sports as well.

The future of sports betting in media looks bright

Most of the mainstream sports media today grew up without gambling on sports or having access to point spreads, betting options, and general gambling news. There’s a bit of ignorance with the mainstream public about sports betting. If sports fans were curious about gambling they would have to learn from an illegal subculture or find information generated from Las Vegas.

The future will have more sports fans educated on sports betting. The information will be more accessible around the country. Whether the information is gained from local sports media or national sports media there should be a better understanding of sports gambling.

Today we have to listen to people like Leiter hypothesize about driving around New Jersey to make $500,000 in bets. Tomorrow we should see a new generation of media talking heads that will grow up with legal gambling accessible. This should make for a more educated media.

Also Read: ESPN Launches First Gambling-Focused Show — And It’s Only The Beginning

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Marc Meltzer

Marc Meltzer grew up on the mean streets of the South Bronx. He's the rare combination of Yankees and Jets fan which explains his often contrarian point of view. Marc is a freelance writer and social media consultant. Writing about steak, booze, gambling and Las Vegas is a tough job but somebody has to do it.

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