A good person, when he feels guilty about something, is often okay with being punished for it. And, the fact is, many sports bettors – deep down – feel like they are doing something wrong. The result of this guilt is many sports bettors feeling okay about being treated badly.
Reuters News recently estimated sports betting is a trillion dollar a year industry. Yes, that’s trillion with a T.
By quantifying the massive number of others who are betting, we are able to see that the supposed majority judging us is perhaps not a majority after all. And once that vague, undefined guilt is left behind, it’s then much easier to demand respectful treatment.
CNBC’s Jim Cramer is a television star and best-selling author. He graduated from Harvard, ran a hedge fund with moderate success before focusing on a media career. He is an owner of the website TheStreet.com, which provides both free and paid investing advice from Jim Cramer. For example, at the end of a typical free article from Cramer is a solicitation to “Get Cramer’s top stocks with Action Alerts plus trade with him free for 14 days.”
Steve Fezzik is a sports bettor with comparable credentials. He graduated from Northwestern, won the most prestigious sports handicapping contest in the world (the LVH Super Contest) twice (the only person ever to do so) and has made his living predominantly from his sports betting profits for over a decade. He contributes to Pregame.com, which provides both free and paid investing advice from Steve Fezzik.
Hmmm, looking at this objectively, it would not be unfair to conclude Fezzik is relatively better at sports betting than Jim Cramer is at investment analysis. One, though, is celebrated by the mainstream media – appearing, for example, on a show as respected as “Meet the Press” regularly. The other is known by only a niche audience.
It would make no less sense to have Fezzik on the set of SportsCenter helping the audience understand the betting market as it does to have Cramer explaining the financial market. There are numerous qualified sports betting analysts, and ESPN, Fox, and other major media companies are taking small steps in this direction – but too small and too slow.
Wait a minute, skeptical readers are thinking, didn’t you see that Pacino movie “Two For the Money” – no way should scammers like that be on a legitimate news show. Now, those in the know would quickly reply with a crack about “Wolf of Wall Street.”
The fact is, anytime money is involved, there will be some crooks involved. But what isn’t obvious to many is how comparably sports betting media, when done forthrightly, stacks up to stock market media. It’s comparable right down the line in the areas of transparency, promotional accuracy and level of expertise.
Consider that one of Cramer’s books is titled: Watch TV, Get Rich. While Steve Fezzik is on the radio, not hyping easy money, but rather stressing how hard it is to beat Vegas.
Once the unwarranted guilt is removed from the equation, the sports betting industry will be ready to collectively stand up and demand respect, as well as its rightful place in the middle of the general sports conversation.
RJ Bell of Pregame.com is the only sports bettor on Forbes’ list of Gambling Gurus and has been called “a true insider” by ESPN and a “point-spread maven” by USA Today. Pregame.com is the largest sports betting news website compliant with US Law. Follow on twitter: @RJinVegas. Contact RJ at [email protected]