ESPN’s ‘Outside The Lines’ Four-Part Sports Betting Series to Begin Airing Thursday

Written by:
Gilbert Horowitz
Published on:
Jan/31/2024

ESPN is slated to run a four-part sports betting series beginning Thursday February 1, 2024 as part of its "Outside the Lines" program.  It will air each day through Sunday then will be available on the network's YouTube channel.

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"ALL IN – Sports Betting in the U.S." is the title of the four-part series and will focus on some of the controversies surrounding the industry.  It is interesting to note that ESPN recently entered the market with its own branded sportsbook run by Penn National, ESPN Bet.  No word on whether it will be mentioned in the program.

But you get where we are going with this. Placing, say, DraftKings in a bad light would be akin to attacking your competition under the guise of a "documentary".  Again, we don't yet know how this will unfold and shall reserve judgment for the moment.

Part 1 looks at how younger people are using sportsbook apps, how social media platforms are changing the industry landscape and will also delve into the partnerships between the various leagues and sportsbooks.

Part 2 looks to be more in step with ESPN's long standing reputation as a leading voice in sports news as it will feature an interview with Isaiah Rodgers Sr., the former Indianapolis Colts defensive back suspended indefinitely by the NFL for violating the sports betting policy.   A similar but unrelated investigation into illegal sports wagering within two of Iowa's biggest college sports programs has come under fire recently for a series of mishaps.  A lawyer for one of the accused players filed a motion claiming misconduct by investigators while others reportedly wanted off the case due to alleged improprieties.

Part 3 will look at how the NFL seemingly changed its stance on sports betting overnight.

Here is the description of an article appearing on Sports Betting Nation from back in 2012:

"The major professional sports and the NCAA have filed suit against New Jersey, in hopes of preventing the state from legalizing sports gambling. A federal judge heard arguments of standing on Wednesday, with plans to rule by Friday."

That's right Folks, it wasn't too long ago the NFL was fighting to prevent sports betting from becoming legalized across the country outside of Nevada.  What changed?

During a 2012 deposition, a lawyer for the NFL argued that the league was adamantly opposed to sports gambling because it would “negatively impact our long-term relationship with our fans, negatively impact the perception of our sport across the country.”

We ask again, What changed?

Part 4 examines the risk of sports betting and the potential for addiction.  Same Game Parlays, which were never a thing when the offshores and bookie ruled the roost, certainly haven't helped matters.

The limited series will air at 7 am ET and 2 pm ET all four days.

- Gilbert Horowitz, Gambling911.com

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