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Gamblers Blast ESPN's WoJ For Betting Take

Top NBA Reporter Says Betting Makes Many Fans Meaner

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The sports betting community apparently isn’t too happy with ESPN reporter Adrian Wojnarowski’s latest take on gambling.

Wojnarowski, in reference to an incident involving Kyrie Irving and a fan, went out on a limb to make the argument that regulated sports betting — in particular live in-game betting from the arena — is creating extra tension between players and fans.

“As gambling becomes prevalent in the arena,” he said, “people [are] gambling on almost everything that goes on in the game and they’re drinking. Players, organizations, and you talk to them, they already feel it in the arena. When people are losing money in real time and they’re pointing to a player on the court and they’re saying, ‘Hey, I bet you to score more points in the second quarter than somebody else and I lost,’ you’re adding an element to that that we’re not talking as much about but is a real factor in this league.”

Sports betting has been around for decades, of course, but since 2018 states across the country have moved to legalize and regulate commercial sportsbooks. The U.S. Supreme Court in May 2018 struck down a decades-old federal prohibition on sports betting.

“And I think you’re going to see more instances of fans being even more vitriolic toward players in this league," Wojnarowski said. “[I]t’s an issue they’re gonna have to deal with, but it comes with the influx of gambling money that everyone is going to profit off of, both players and the league. But it’s going to impact the relationship between fans and players in real time.”

 
 
Tags: Sports Betting,   ESPN