I was watching the Orioles v Tigers game the other day and noted that at least half of all the ads were for one gambling app or another. The game which forbids its players from gambling- and has banned one of the greatest players of all time from the Hall of Fame for gambling- is being heavily sponsored by gambling.
Do the people who get suckered in participating in this dangerously addictive behavior realize that these commercials are expensive to produce and run (contrary to what you may believe, Kevin Hart does not do Ads for Everything for free?) Where do they think that money comes from if not the pockets of gambling addicts? Multimillionaire Kevin Hart, living in one of his multimillion-dollar homes, isn't going to pretend to be excited over getting $200 in free "credit" to gamble with without getting an actual check representing actual money, people. In other words, he's not taking his pay in App Credit.
We've got NFL players being suspended for gambling while our screens are awash in Gambling Is Harmless Fun By The Way Check Out the 1-800 ADDICTION HELP Number We're Required To Slap At The Bottom Of The Screen commercials. We've got entire shows on ESPN and the networks dedicated to betting. We've got odds scrolling across the bottom of the screen during games. And we've got one Check Out How Glamorous Risking Your Paycheck Is commercial after another during games being watched by children.* Cripes, I used to complain about the stupid obsession with Fantasy Sports. Those days seem downright quaint now. Can we get back there please?
In two years Las Vegas will have it's own baseball team, courtesy of the insatiable greed of the billionaire who owns the Oakland A's. Just a decade ago, the idea of Vegas having a major league sports team was considered extremely problematic; in 2025 it will have three. Because Vegas can't be a gambling mecca in a country which permits gambling on pretty much everything, everywhere, and far worse makes it almost criminally accessible to everyone. This is not going to go well.
*Despite everything I wrote here, I'm actually quite Libertarian in my views on gambling, drinking, smoking, vaping, consumption of processed sugar and fat, and all of the other self-inflicted damage we Americans in particular like to indulge in. But I do worry about the next generation automatically associating sports with gambling, and gambling with adventure and fun. As I wrote above, this is NOT going to end well.