Sports betting is no longer confined outside Nevada to underground rings and offshore betting sites, and that means the gambling activity is beginning to receive some regular mainstream media attention.
The Vegas Stats & Information Network, stylized VSiN, recently formed a partnership with the New York Post to provide the news source with two feature-length articles each week. VSiN broadcasts live seven days a week from its South Point Casino studio in Las Vegas.
VSiN founder Brent Musburger, the iconic sports play-by-play broadcaster who left ESPN in January 2017 to focus on the sports gambling network, is one of the columnists who will regularly contribute to the Post.
Musburger’s first article served as a primer for Post readers interested in placing a bet on professional baseball. The legendary broadcaster explained there are more bets offered than the traditional moneyline.
He singles out futures on World Series odds, which player will end the regular season with the most home runs, and who will win the AL and NL MVP awards.
The point of all this is that there are many ways to enjoy the baseball season outside of the daily grind,” Musburger concludes.
The New York Post is the seventh-largest newspaper in terms of circulation in the US. The New York Gaming Commission is working on regulations to allow the state’s four upstate casinos to begin offering sports betting.
Media Bets on Gambling
Musburger was known for referencing point spreads and over/unders while broadcasting college football and basketball games. At the time, his superiors at ESPN reportedly told him to knock it off, as gambling on collegiate sports was illegal outside Nevada.
But May’s decision by the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) that the longstanding federal ban was unconstitutional has given legitimacy to sports betting.
SCOTUS’ 6-3 opinion that the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 violated anti-commandeering interpretations of the Tenth Amendment has led to VSiN striking several media deals. Along with the Post, the sports betting network has partnered to provide content with St. Louis radio station 101ESPN, Cheddar, a streaming financial news platform geared towards the millennial, and horse racing network TVG.
More On Way
Delaware and New Jersey have joined Nevada in allowing its casinos to offer full-fledged sports betting. Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Mississippi have sports wagering laws passed, and another 15 states have legislation introduced to regulate the activity.
With sportsbooks expected to expand to states across the country, the odds are strong that media outlets will look to incorporate coverage into their mediums.
“I do see more programming being added, locally, nationally, and everywhere else,” ESPN Program Director Adam Delevitt told the Chicago Sun-Times this week. “We continue to work on many angles in that area.”
“We will be taking the heightened interest in sports gambling into consideration as we plan coverage each day,” Sun-Times Sports Editor Chris De Luca added. “The growth in sports gambling will mean a growing interest in the sports news that means the most to those gamblers.”
To highlight the importance of sports betting media, ESPN, amid continued subscription cuts, announced several rounds of layoffs in 2017. But the sports leader didn’t axe reporters in its “Chalk” division, which is focused on sports betting.