ESPN speaks out on discussion about sports betting
The issue at stake is that the sports channels tend to discuss trends in sports betting on ESPN's website. Since sports betting
is illegal in almost all of the states of America - and because the U.S. government has strict anti-online gambling laws - the station has received some criticism.
A reader of ESPN.com has recently noted that, the site of the sports channel links to a site with advice on how to bet on a game between the Redskins and the Eagles. In response, Ombudsman Don Ohlmeyer investigated how the station handles the contradiction that ESPN, despite the fact that betting on sports is prohibited in most of the United States, in some cases seems to approve of or even encourage sports betting.
ESPN sports betting
‘There is nothing wrong with the discussion on trends in sports betting on our site, because ESPN
has been known to deliver relevant and reliable information to its readers,’ thus said Robbyn Footlick, the editor of ESPN Magazine and Insider.
Bet on sports
‘We currently have a" Behind the Bets "column and blog and we write about the entire gambling industry, and sports betting is a very important part of that world. We want to keep our integrity and at the same time, we want to entertain our fans. And there are many fans and readers who occasionally bet on sports.’
‘An important part of conversations about sport’
Ohlmeyer also discovered that ESPN has been mentioning sports betting trends on their site for almost ten years. ‘We understand that such trends are of great importance to the fans, and betting on sports is still allowed in Nevada,’ said Vince Doria, ESPN's senior vice president and director of the News section. ‘With that in mind, we came to the conclusion that figures and discussions like these, simply have become an important part of conversations about sports and sports betting.’