Illegal Infractions Sweep Sports (and sports betting is to blame)

It’s hard to believe this…

But May 14th marked the fifth anniversary of legal mobile sports betting in the United States.

And in perfect fashion…

We had a ton of developments (most of them were not so great).

I first want to showcase the infractions — but first, let’s start with some good news.

Let’s Dive In 👇

Consolidation & Sports Betting

Over the last few weeks, we’ve seen heavy M&A (mergers & acquisitions) take place in the sports betting market.

  • Fanatics acquired PointsBet USA
  • Yahoo Sports acquired Wagr (for mostly just equity)
  • Betr acquired Chameleon from FansUnite Entertainment
jake paul betr growing microbetting

It’s interesting to see Fanatics & Yahoo pushing into the sports betting arena, while Jake Paul’s Betr continues to grow at a rapid pace.

In a shaky market, those with 𝘤𝘢𝘴𝘩 and 𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘣𝘪𝘭𝘪𝘵𝘺 are scooping up strategic assets at a discount.

Illegal Infractions in Legal Sports Betting

There’s been an array of scandals across sports betting in the last month (and interestingly two of the biggest ones are in college).

Things Get Funky in Iowa

Over 40 athletes at Iowa and Iowa State are being investigated for violating two rules:

  1. It’s illegal for anyone under 21 to place a bet in Iowa
  2. NCAA gambling rules prohibit athletes from betting on any sports — college or pro — in which the NCAA conducts a championship.

And it gets more interesting…

In January, Elite Casino Resorts donated $500,000 to Iowa’s NIL collective, The Swarm Collective.

nil collective in iowa with casino operator
Iowa’s basketball coaches with Elite Casino Resorts VP and GM

To recap…

The largest sportsbook in Iowa donated $500k to its NIL collective with every athlete is set to receive $10k — 4 months later over 26 athletes and 1 athletic department employee is under investigation for gambling.

Wild stuff.

College Baseball Coach

Alabama fired their baseball coach, Brad Bohannon, amid an investigation into potential match-fixing.

Alabama fires baseball coach Brad Bohannon

Sportsbook surveillance video indicates Bohannon was on the phone with a bettor who made a “suspicious” wager before Alabama’s game against LSU.

What tipped authorities off…

Alabama’s scheduled starting pitcher was benched right before the opening pitch.

Match Fixing in Brazil

Seven pro soccer players were charged for their involvement in a match-fixing scheme.

One of the players involved was Max Alves of the Colorado Rapids (MLS) — who has been removed from all team activities.

Max Alves gambling allegations

The players were allegedly paid to commit infractions that could be wagered on (like getting a yellow card).

With sportsbooks now offering the ability to bet on nearly everything — this one isn’t that surprising.

NFL Players Dinged For Gambling

Five NFL players were suspended for violating the league’s gambling policy, which prohibits players from betting on NFL games.

  • C.J. Moore
  • Shaka Toney
  • Quintez Cephus
  • Stanley Berryhill
  • Jameson Williams
nfl players suspended for gambling

The same thing happened last year….

When WR Calvin Ridley was suspended for the entire 2022 season for gambling on NFL games.


There are two ways to look at these scandals…

  1. All of these athletes/coaches got caught…think how much more is going on!
  2. All of these athletes/coaches got caught…the systems and processes to catch cheaters are working!

I intend to agree with number #1.

There’s a lot going on that nobody knows about.

My Experience As An Athlete

Every athlete that participates at a level where games can be bet on — gets texts for inside information.

text message asking athlete to give insider gambling info
  • I may or may not have won some friends thousands of dollars.
  • I may or may not have told friends about injury reports.

I never once thought about doing anything to impact the outcome of games — but felt fine giving information like…

“We’re playing really well, our big guy is coming back from injury, and the team is energized…I think we’ll cover the spread.”

Every athlete experiences friends joking (or serious) about getting inside information for gambling purposes.

Where It’s Headed

As mentioned, legal sports betting outside of Vegas is now 5 years old.

Since the bill was overturned, the stats are astonishing:

  • $220 billion wagered on sports
  • $17 billion in revenue for sportsbooks
  • $3 billion in state and local taxes

And what’s wild…

California, Texas, and Florida still don’t have legal sports betting markets (the three most populous states w/ 32 professional teams between them).

sports betting legal landscape graph

Sports betting has inevitably grown the interest in sports — but the collateral damage is evident as well.

And get this…

  • fans bet on their phones while attending games
  • several pro teams have sportsbooks in their stadiums
  • sports betting ads fill commercials during NFL games

What’d we think was going to happen?

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