For years, I’ve been a proponent of legalized sports betting. I even recorded a podcast years ago explaining the benefits of its legalization. The less said about that the better though.
Well, sports betting is now legal in Massachusetts.
First off, Taxachusetts couldn’t even do it right. MA residents can’t gamble on any local college teams. That is the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. Quite honestly this kind of thing is par for the course in my home state. They’re literally turning dollars away based on some dumb moral objection and a completely imaginary thought about gamblers fixing local games. Is anyone surprised?
Massachusetts' ineptitude isn’t the main purpose of this blog though.
Now that people have been able to gamble for a week or so now, I’ve had some time to let it set in and I’ve honestly got a bitter taste in my mouth.
My biggest issue is the absolute tsunami of commercials and advertisements I’ve been forced to endure. It all started about a month before, when I saw Kevin Hart’s stupid commercials on YouTube every time I pulled up the app. Even Spotify bludgeoned me with audio ads about Draftkings or FanDuel. Holy shit was it annoying. But I went through it thinking that after the date finally came, the ads would slow down. Man was I wrong.
I’m still forced to watch Kevin Hart’s ridiculous commercials, but now they are partnered with even dumber Massachusetts focused ones featuring local comedian Lenny Clarke.
I did a bit of research this morning and counted the number of sports betting commercials I saw in a 1 hour period on YouTube. In that time, I saw 15 sports betting ads. Now that wouldn’t be too bad if they were different ones. Unfortunately for me, I heard Lenny Clarke screech “SPORTS BETTING IS LEGAL IN MASS NOW!” at least 10 times.
I get that it’s a new thing and companies want to capitalize on the influx of money, but give me some kind of break from the commercials.
The commercials aren’t the only thing annoying me about legal sports betting. What is arguably more annoying is everybody feeling like they’re some kind of gambling expert. My social media feed is filled with people posting their picks for some dumb basketball game or soccer match nobody cares about. Stupid people who have little to no money to pay rent, that are putting hundreds or thousands of dollars on pointless games.
And before you start, yes I understand this is a little hypocritical of me. Seeing how I do weekly picks against the spread during NFL season. If you look at those picks, you’ll know I am in no way an expert. It’s just something a couple of friends and I do for fun. As a matter of fact, I’ve only ever gambled on sporting events twice in my life. I drunkenly bet on the Mayweather/McGregor fight when I was in Vegas years back and I bet on a useless Alabama/Tulane football game in college.
My annoyance isn’t just with the people on social media who brag about a great pick that is probably fictional, it extends to these media companies that feel the need to talk about nothing but gambling all day. Not that sports radio is the epitome of entertainment, but blowhards like Andy Gresh who have never won a bet in their life talking like their handicapping geniuses are abysmal. Making strange gambling picks has become a crutch that untalented people are using to fill time on the radio.
Even my guy Kirk Minihane has launched a golf gambling podcast. That makes a little bit of sense seeing how he works for a company owned by a gambling company, but still. Have you ever watched those “gambling cave” streams that Barstool does? Not only are they boring, but if we’re being honest with ourselves, it’s a lot of WWE style reactions. These people don’t act like that if the cameras aren’t on. One wonders if they’re even gambling at all. How easy would it be to fake the bets? But hey, it’s working for them. More power to them.
Now reading this I am aware that I sound like an insufferable bore about this. Despite my annoyance by the whole thing, I am a HUGE advocate of legal sports betting. It’s one of those things that people are going to do whether it’s legal or not, so let’s take advantage of it. So make all the bets you want. Even if it means losing your home or crippling your future. Just stop with the annoying commercials and probably bull shit gambling picks you send out on Twitter. Nobody gives a damn.