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Musberger to start sports betting network; Goodell: NFL won’t change gambling policies

Twice weekly, we’ll comb through as many articles, tweets and podcasts as we can find related to the world of sports betting and daily fantasy sports, and publish the good stuff here. 

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Sports announcer Brent Musburger announced his retirement earlier this week. His plan is to open a sports betting network in Las Vegas.

“But the next rodeo for me is in Las Vegas. Stop by and we’ll share a cold one and some good stories. I may even buy!”

If he’s buying, it most likely will be at a bar at the South Point, where all programming for the first-ever sports betting network will originate from.

Musburger was unavailable for comment, but sources said he will host the main afternoon show on the network’s SiriusXM radio channel. He will not be a tout and sell picks.

The network’s first radio show is expected to debut during Super Bowl weekend, and VSIN will air daily radio shows, with plans to become a 24-hour network at some point this year.


Musburger said he quit betting on games he announced back in the 1970s.

The iconic announcer, who announced Wednesday that he’ll be retiring at the end of the month, has always made viewers of his games aware of the sports betting stakes at place. Musburger told the Dan Patrick Show on Thursday that he quit betting on games he was working in the 1970s. His final bet was with a producer on an NBA game involving the Portland Trailblazers and the Los Angeles Lakers.

Musburger, who had the Lakers minus a few points, said he lost the bet thanks to a late missed shot by Johnny Newman that was turned into points by Portland and realized the investment and his subsequent reaction towards Newman was “crazy.” He’s never bet on a game since.

“You know, that was crazy,” Musburger said. “I had no business jumping on that kid. It was a ridiculous shot. And I never bet … a lot of people think I did. But here’s what I do think. I do think it’s important to know what it is. My buddy Al Michaels, he’s always aware. And if he’s not, George Hill, his stats guy for both of us through the decades, he’ll hand Al a slip of paper or remind him in commercial what the over/under might be.

I do think people are interested in that. I think it’s a very big part of the growth of the National Football League.”

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said the league would not compromise any of their policies about gambling if the Raiders were to relocate to Las Vegas.

Asked by Colin Cowherd if the NFL is softening its opposition to gambling, as the NBA has under Commissioner Adam Silver, Goodell indicated that playing in America’s gambling capital doesn’t signal a shift for the NFL.

“We’ve seen the changes in the culture around the country in gambling,” Goodell said. “We’re obviously very sensitive to that, but we’re also going to evaluate the Raiders case on the relocation application in what’s in the overall best interests of the league. But one thing we can’t ever do is compromise on the game. That’s one of the things we’ll do is to make sure the policies we’ve created, if we did in any way approve the Raiders, I don’t see us compromising on any of the policies.”

In other words, the league is considering a move to Las Vegas because the taxpayers there are willing to devote hundreds of millions of dollars to a stadium, and the taxpayers in Oakland aren’t. As far as the NFL is concerned, that’s a separate issue from gambling.

A Las Vegas Review-Journal article looks at the continued growth of Super Bowl prop bets.

The tipping point came in 1995, when the 49ers were favored by up to 19½ points over the Chargers in Super Bowl XXIX.

“It looked like it was going to be a boring Super Bowl, so we decided to double the props at that time and we came up with 100 of them,” he said. “It really caught on like wildfire, and the fans really enjoyed it.

“It also gave the opportunity to fans who weren’t associated with the two teams something else to wager on. It’s really grown from that point to where we’re over 400 propositions.”

A Pennsylvania lawmaker introduced a bill that would legalize sports betting in the state if PASPA is overturned.

State Rep. Robert Matzie is circulating a co-sponsorship memorandum for legislation about sports betting. The bill would likely only take effect if the federal law that prevents single-game wagering outside of Nevada — PASPA — is repealed.

Here is some of what Matzie wrote in his memo:

Our Commonwealth is uniquely positioned to oversee sports betting in all its forms, and should be ready to act should the federal ban be lifted. As evidenced by yet another record setting year of gaming revenues, our licensed facilities are thriving. Legalizing sports betting will simply enable Pennsylvania to regulate a multimillion dollar industry that already exists.

The bill would mirror a law already passed in New York that would allow the state’s casinos and racetracks to offer sports wagering. A sports betting bill recently cropped up in Michigan.