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A Better East Texas: Sports betting

Published: Sep. 3, 2021 at 10:07 AM CDT
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - Football is back, at least for now. As the NFL season prepares to kick off, there is excitement and certainly hope, if you are a Dallas Cowboys fan. But this year, for the first time, you may be able to legally bet on a game.

Recently, the NFL announced a sponsorship agreement with sportsbooks operators, opening the door for very visible betting on pro games. Now, betting on games has been around forever, just not legally in those states that have not approved sports betting. Texas is one of them. But the industry of sports betting is large enough that they don’t need every state to make a financial killing as a result of this new agreement. The risks, though, are obvious.

Bringing this industry to a level of prominence creates very obvious pressure on people to perform. This includes, players, obviously, but also coaches, and even officiating crews. It is ultimately a huge point of temptation for those groups to let the pressure of a bet impact their performance on the field. And this is the last thing the NFL needs.

This agreement also flies in the face of what NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said just nine years ago, that gambling, yes gambling, is the biggest threat to the integrity of the sport. So, the lure of additional revenue wins out again but puts the character of this sport at risk. It is hard to imagine how this helps grow respect for the league that so needs it.

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