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Betting on High School Football Games The Next Big Thing Thanks to ESPN

Written by:
Don Shapiro
Published on:
Aug/31/2011
Betting on High School Football Games

There was a huge story that ran on the Rivals Network this past week, republished across the various websites, all having to do with the morality of betting on High School Football games.

It may seem like a lost cause.  Who but a few local diehards are going to place wagers on a High School game that nobody outside the town will be interested in?

Of course that all changed with streaming live Internet feeds and ESPN.

Dallas Jackson of the Rivals website MOSport.com notes that, of the 29 games posted on the site for this weekend and coming weeks, all but one will be aired on one of the ESPN family of networks.

5Dimes.com, a highly successful online sportsbook based out of Costa Rica, is one of the few that offers betting on High School Football.

A girl named Erica was contacted by Rivals to discuss the High School football wagering options found at 5Dimes.com.  she's worked at 5dimes.com for three years but says lines on high school football games go back much further than that, "for a long time, at least 10 years," shesaid.

According to Erica, action on the games has only recently picked up and that the rise in the number of televised games has boosted interest at the window.

"In the beginning there was not much interest," she said. "But since these games have been airing on ESPN, the action has picked up. Those are the ones that there is going to be more action on."

As for the morality issues, Gambling911.com Publisher Chris Costigan offered his opinion to Rivals and was quoted as part of the piece.

"I don't think Vegas would ever do it," Costigan said. "There's definitely a line in terms of the moral issue.”

But with that said he doesn’t see a problem with 5Dimes taking bets on the games.

“If it's televised, I can see them doing it. And if it's televised football, I can see it getting some play.

"You've got kids who are going to be tempted.  It's not really the bookmakers' problem. They are not the ones who are telling people to fix the game."

In fact, Costigan said, gambling houses could actually help.

"You already have a situation where there are high school bookies. It's better to have it in a somewhat regulated industry where if you felt there was something going on you could contact authorities," he said.

- Don Shapiro, Gambling911.com

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