An interesting decision was made by a mainstream sports website last week.
Maybe “interesting” isn’t the right word. Maybe “bold” is better. Or “courageous.” Yes, that’s it. Courageous. Because this decision could backfire. It could blow up in the site’s face. It could cause harm, irreparable harm, so much harm that site visitors might never be the same again—their eyes scarred and their innocence lost, possibly forever.
The decision, made by CBSSports.com, was to embed betting lines into their real-time sports scoreboards. Go ahead, let it soak in. Try to wrap your mind around that. A mainstream sports website is publishing betting lines on its sports scoreboards. Oh, the horror!
Why would CBS do this?
Well, it’s simple: To meet visitor demand.
But here’s what’s interesting: CBS has broadcast partnerships with the NFL and NCAA, both of whom are named as plantiffs in a lawsuit against New Jersey, which is trying to legalize sports betting in the Garden State. (Other states are expected to follow Jersey’s path if they are successful.)
The leagues argue that sports betting threatens the integrity of the games, and as such, they don’t want anything to do with point spreads, odds or anything of the sort. That’s what they claim, anyway.
And now, CBS has made the lines publicly available to millions of daily visitors. They can be accessed by everyone and anyone, even children, and soon our society is going to be filled with nothing but sports bettors who want to bet on sports bet on sports bet on sports.
Somewhere, Roger Goodell is pretending to cry.
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