Remember that play early in the NFL Season?!
$300 Million Dollars changed hands because of the decision on this play. I didn’t watch that game and while I saw the highlight the next day about 75 times throughout the day anytime I turned on the radio, my smart phone, or the TV I forgot about it soon enough.
What is very interesting though is the deep underground impact of sports betting online news. Both on a call like that and on calls throughout the entire sports world on a daily basis. Why should you care? I care because I like to learn about new things and I find it simply amazing. It’s better to be intelligent rather than ignorant.
Or perhaps you were one of the $300 Million Dollars that got moved to the other side as a result of that Golden Tate Play! Yes you heard me right. That single play moved Vegas dollars an estimated $300 Million. Don’t believe me?? Vegas bookies spoke out HERE! That does not include the hundreds of side bets, friendly handshakes, etc.
The impact goes bigger than just the win or the loss
We are not here to lecture on the pro’s or con’s of sports betting and its integrity. Yahoo did write a nice article about five years ago on that so feel free to take a glance at it here.
No what we want to examine is to realize that one play like that has huge consequences and far reaching measures. The impact of the sports betting on that one play won or lost $300 million dollars to the other side. That first off is a lot of money. That I guarantee made AND broke one person each way in their lives for the coming two years. That has far reaching effects on our economy. That person who MADE his year on that call likely won’t be working very hard at their job or career if they have one and the person who LOST his or her year may have gotten kicked out of their home, fell behind on their bills, etc. It sways people’s lives for extended periods of time.
Throw in the fact that play was probably the caveat to push the replacement refs out of the NFL and gave the pro refs leverage to come back with a great deal and you are now talking hundreds of millions of dollars that had an immediate impact from that one play.
The actual impact of sports betting
Where it all comes full circle is when we look at the long term impact of sports betting. The wagers and lines put such pressure and stress on players and spectators lives that sports betting to a certain degree has taken the life of sports and put a whole new twist on it. A win for your team is no longer a win if they didn’t beat the spread.
Wait, what!? Your team won but since they didn’t meet a magical line in your eyes you still lost.
That is the long term impact from a fan’s perspective. The purity and sanctity to a certain degree is lost. If we wish to rid ourselves of that then so be it. But if you don’t think it changes the way players play the game, fans watch the game, and even refs knowing that line in their head aren’t thinking about it as they participate or watch the game you are partially blind to the true story.
Now I am not saying that they are influenced or sway to the line, that is only the one in the million athlete or ref who does that. The Tim Donaghy or the Pete Rose. But I am saying it is in their head because it is all around them leading up to the game. And that has a long term impact on the way in which we watch and play sports. College is not off the hook here either. It happens just as much at that level as it does in the pros.
As for the economic impact of sports betting
Hundreds of BILLIONS of dollars each and every year are bet on sports in America alone!
The 2011 Super Bowl had 87 Million Dollars wagered on it. The 2012 NCAA Tournament had 2.4 Billion Dollars change hands in NCAA pools alone!
That is not chump change. A single play in a big sporting event has thousands of dollars won and lost, every single game has hundreds of thousands and even millions of dollars won and lost.
And it’s a vicious cycle that keeps rinsing and repeating itself. Gambling in my eyes, like everything else in life, is just fine if done in moderation. But these enormous amounts of dollars are then building businesses, breaking school levy’s, changing lives for the good and the bad, changing people’s vacation plans to Las Vegas instead of DisneyWorld, moving people up or down in social classes, and changing the way in which we talk about the outcome of sporting events thanks to the proverbial “spread.”
That’s the impact of sports betting. How you use it is up to you, but know that it exists and will come to affect every single one of us either directly or indirectly someday in our lives. For better or for worse. Just be prepared.