The Super Bowl is quite possibly the most wagered on event in the world on an annual basis. However, in years past, a large amount of that wagering was done illegally. But, since May 2018, the sports gambling atmosphere has changed in the United States and it could make this year’s Super Bowl even more engaging with NFL sports bettors.
Despite the sports betting possibilities staring CBS right in the face, the popular TV network plans to go on like it always has, with no mention of sports betting during the Super Bowl.
The Supreme Court overturned the federal ban on sports betting outside Nevada, and several states have since legalized and opened operating sportsbooks. This makes betting on the Super Bowl in 2019 a completely different landscape than in previous years, and it could end up being the largest wagered event in Super Bowl History.
Gambling is more accepted and done out in the open now, but when it comes to the Super Bowl, CBS announcers will not discuss sports gambling whatsoever. According to Newsday, the CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus said CBS made the decision not to talk about sports betting since it’s only legal in a handful of states:
“It’s only legalized in a few states. We just had made the decision that it’s not the right thing to do now.”
This decision not to discuss sports betting at the Super Bowl isn’t actually a departure from the norm. The network hasn’t allowed any announcers to talk about gambling during the regular season. Actually, most announcers at most networks don’t talk about sports betting during any games, either. Why would they?
As just discussed, most announcers don’t discuss gambling during games; however, NBC broadcaster Al Michaels is an exception. He’s well-known for dropping “secret” references to over/under. He’s even admitted that he’s done this.
There probably won’t be any obvious or subtle allusions to sports betting during the Super Bowl. Jim Nantz, the CBS play-by-play announcer, said he won’t have any problems ignoring the gambling lines during the broadcast.
Some fans won’t care that there’s no mention of betting on the Super Bowl game, and the ones who do place wagers on the big game will have other ways to see odds and such while they watch or listen to the game. A small percentage of game spectators are going to think this is an overreach by CBS.
Super Bowl LIII will take place in Atlanta at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium, home to the Atlanta Falcons. This will be the third Super Bowl played in Atlanta, with the previous ones being in 1994 and 2000. The game will be held on Sunday, February 3, 2019, with an as-yet unannounced kickoff time.
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