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Legal betting could kill pro sports


Salt Lake City is Thinking about increasing the sales tax To fund part of a new entertainment and cultural district, including housing, retail and the renovation of the Delta Center to accommodate the new NHL team. Meanwhile, other efforts are underway to attract them Major league baseball team and the construction of a new stadium, also partly funded by taxpayers.

It’s an exciting time for the Wasatch Front, as the growing city hopes to catch the wave of sports fanaticism that seems to be rising more and more in the United States every year.

But nothing could bring all of this down harder and faster than a general loss of confidence in the credibility of the games people follow. Many smart people warn that this could happen through a series of serious gambling scandals.

Major media outlets have been paying a lot of attention to this recently. Some are sounding the alarm about the future of athletics. It’s important for people to pay attention. The reasons should be clear to anyone keeping score.

A few days ago, Major League Baseball fired a San Diego player Tocupita Marcano He retired from the sport for life because he bet about $90,000 on baseball games over two seasons. The baseball team also suspended four other players for betting on major league baseball games while they played in the minor leagues.

Also earlier this year, Los Angeles Dodgers player Shohei Ohtani’s interpreter was accused of stealing millions from the star to pay off his large gambling debts. Ohtani’s former teammate David Fletcher is under investigation The bookmaker allegedly used the interpreter as well, but not to bet on baseball.

In the NBA, downtown Toronto Jontay Porter received a lifetime ban Earlier this year for passing confidential information about his health to a bookmaker. It is then Remove the same from at least one match early on, claiming he wasn’t feeling well.

And in the NHL, the first player suspended from that league for gambling returned to action with the Ottawa Senators in January after serving a half-year suspension. Neither the player Shane Pinto nor the league It was close With details of his alleged crimes.

NFL He suspended the players In recent years too.

After Marcano’s suspension this week, USA Today reported Written by Gabe Luck We should all be prepared for more. He said this was not a wake-up call. “It’s like when you wake up a few minutes before your alarm is set to go off, and you toss and turn, waiting for its inevitable buzz.”

Major sports leagues in the United States have signed lucrative deals with online sports gambling sites. It allows these sites to advertise heavily during matches and in stadiums, and people are encouraged to use their smartphones to bet on all kinds of things related to the game.

Luck draws attention to “the modern reality where a player can connect to his FanDuel account one moment, then wander into the training room to see who’s getting hurt the next. To place a seemingly innocuous, legal NBA bet one second and be competitive nine innings later.” Moments.

the Washington Post Editorial BoardAt the same time, she criticized the hypocrisy of baseball suspending a player for life while failing to acknowledge its “partners in the $11 billion sports betting industry.”

Previous editorial The newspaper said that the ease of online gambling will lead to increased debt, bankruptcy, and the loss of jobs and homes. “As expected, problem gambling has also trickled down to sports games themselves, generating a whiff of scandal and raising questions about the integrity of the games.”

Integrity, trust and credibility – without them, professional sports collapse and taxpayers lose their investment.

Last week, the New York Times published an op-ed By sports agent Lee Steinberg. He said the rush for profits “put players and people close to them under untenable pressure.”

“I have represented professional athletes for 50 years and have never seen a situation more dangerous to them and to the integrity of the sport,” he wrote.

while, NBC News reports Gambling addiction hotlines across the country are busier than ever, and with younger callers than ever before.

Are we listening?

Every mayor and governor in America, including Utah, should demand an end to betting, in-game advertising, and smartphone apps that make betting, especially among young people, as easy as checking the weather.

If nothing else, they should do this to protect the subsidies that taxpayers invest heavily in facilities and other projects that fuel the sport. Unbridled gambling threatens to destroy the credibility on which it all depends.



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