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Volume 24 No. 217
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Ted Leonsis Talks Legalizing Sports Gambling; Predicts There Will Be No Stigma Attached

Monumental Sports & Entertainment Chair & CEO Ted Leonsis said legalizing sports gambling is the "only thing that will save the NFL," according to Dan Steinberg of the WASHINGTON POST. Leonsis in recent years has "emerged as a vocal proponent of legalized sports gambling, and not just to save football." Appearing last week on ESPN Radio 980 DC, Leonsis said that he "foresees in-arena betting in American sports venues" and that he even "imagines in-arena WNBA betting, which could help drive attendance and interest in women’s basketball." He said that "betting on games inside American venues 'will not be an oddity; that will be standing operating procedure.'" Leonsis: "States need revenues, we need tax revenues, we need to be able to have a system that is very transparent with the amount of data. ... If you’re a day trader or you’re in the financial community, you have CNBC on 24/7. And there are buy-side analysts and there are sell-side analysts and there’s a ticker. You could see one day ESPN2 being like CNBC." He added, “That’s what I envision 10 years from now: that gaming and gambling will be very data driven, all powered through the digital networks; that the amount of data that teams and leagues and players generate will make for very educated, smart people; and there’ll be casual gamblers and there’ll be serious professional ones, and there won’t be a stigma attached to it, just like there’s no stigma on Wall Street” (WASHINGTON POST, 12/27).