A general rule of thumb is that when a slew of celebrity pitchmen start endorsing anything that has to do with money, it’s a good bet (no pun intended in the context of this editorial) that the public is being conned.
We saw that with the recent cryptocurrency promotions by famous people such as Matt Damon, Tom Brady, and Giselle Bundschen, who now are being sued by those who lost large sums when the cryptocurrency exchange FTX collapsed. (Brady himself reportedly lost $30 million.)
We are seeing the same dynamic with the new sports betting apps, with stars from Hollywood and the sports world telling us how much “fun” we can have by placing a bet.
However, these sports betting apps are not your grandparents’ bookies — they are far worse. Not only can someone place a bet anywhere and at any time with a few taps on their phone, but they also can bet in real time on just about everything in a particular game with options to bet in-game on every quarter, player, and event.
These gambling companies are publicly-traded corporations and often are partnered with professional sports, thereby making sports betting “acceptable.” However, there are more than six million Americans with sports-gambling addiction problems, and that number only will climb given the spread of sports gaming on cell phones. The individual stories of those who have lost thousands of dollars over their phones on sports gambling are growing exponentially day-by-day — and the only ones getting rich are the shareholders of these companies and the billionaires who own professional sports teams.