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Tell me you never placed a wager. Yeah, right!


"You Gotta Be Kidding!"
by Mickey Charles, CEO Sports Network


It's like saying you never crossed against the red light, drove through the yellow or tossed something out the car window. Or, you never told a lie...about anything, never spoke about friends when they were not around, never called in sick to take the kids to the zoo. Please!

So, speaking of gaming, there exists chocolate and vanilla, apples and oranges, goose and gander. In other words, there is them and there is us. You just have to determine into which category you fall. Whatever spins your wheel, starts your engine. floats your boat or otherwise makes you happy. Go for it!!

That brings us to all the fuss being made of the sportsbetting vertical over in Europe and its growth via product innovation (in-play/live streaming) over new market penetration. First of all, "in running wagering" as a title description has to have been the result of a poorly run contest for the presumed best name. Not. Spread betting was fine; as was spread wagering.

Spread...let's explore that for a fleeting instant and not insult your intelligence. The pointspread is established and you take one side or the other predicated upon same and then sit back, pray, sweat, swear, possibly relax, and wonder if it is all worth it. Understood. But, that is not spread betting. You place the bet, it cannot change and you wait for the outcome. With financial-spread betting, in the stock market where this all originated, you can wager and then choose when to end the bet, increase it, change it. Spread bets have duration. Spread bets encompass every aspect of the event being wagered upon and then the bookmaker takes a position on each. In other words, the idea originally was based upon how stocks might fluctuate.

So, now, that which takes place in the UK is being tentatively offered to North America. It is not the entire game alone that matters, it is every aspect of it...who will score first, who will score how much first, who has the most of this or that, what will your team of choice do in the first period, quarter, minute, next play, following series? If taken down to its finite best, your investment will come with a padded room in the States and directions on how to salvage your marriage. It has worked ideally in Europe and, until now, has failed miserably in the U.S. where early attempts were undertaken in Las Vegas and where whatever happens there stays there...with your money.

In-Running Wagering
Along comes Cantor Gaming of Cantor Fitzgerald fame and they move into the M Resort Spa and Casino and believe that they can succeed where others have failed. Perhaps they can. The good news for them, and intelligently so, is that they have started slowly, with a taste instead of setting a table that cannot be savored at one and the same time. They are building and, from all reports, it is going fairly well. Not great, not the keys to the kingdom nor replacing the "I'll take the Giants minus 3" mentality that still pervades Nevada and the approach of most of those interested in the gaming aspect of the event.

Spread betting is, therefore, old but new to many. So, yes, it represents the very much required product innovation to stay ahead of the pack but that does not herald a clarion call that it will work everywhere.

Vegas permits various proposition bets during a game but that pales in comparison to what Cantor is offering...where games can be wagered upon during play and working, evaluating, at lightning speed, ever-changing pointspreads and odds is the ticket to Mt. Olympus and dining with Zeus and friends. Bet on the next foul shot, potential hit or field goal. More bets, more "vig" for bookmakers like Cantor and more revenue. Sure sounds good. But so did the weather report before the surprise blizzard hit.

Do Americans really want to become day traders of sports? Bungee jumping looked like fun until they tied the rope around your ankles and you signed the waiver. Like sky diving until you got to the door, looked out and felt the rush of wind. You weren't on the ground in Kansas anymore Dorothy. That will be the introduction to spread betting, to in running gaming for many. What we like to do on our side of the pond is to make a wager - legal, of course, and within the parameters of the legal system, then sit back, grab a brew and some other goodies with a few friends, have the use of our own bathrooms and kitchens and then, if at all possible, enjoy the game.

Statisticians will seize their laptops and flock to the M Resort - yes, they permit them. They will access sites like ours and follow the trends, stats, historical ups and downs, match-ups and wager away. Wise guys will win...more often than they lose. But the unwashed masses are not wise guys. They are pedestrian. Cantor hopes to win more from the little guys than they lose to the big ones. Maybe...maybe not. The argument still centers around the acceptability of spread betting in this fashion by the greater preponderance of the public that just wants to sweat it out for the three hours of an NFL game that actually takes 12 minutes of play. The effort, for them, is in making the choice of a winner, not in hand-to-hand combat during the game, other than what they see between the combatants.

Not to be forgotten is the fact that "past posting" a sporting event, or any aspect of it, will take on new significance and importance. It will become an art form when relying on broadcast versus attendance at an event when the split second action is the subject of the wager being made. Can a novelty become a staple? Maybe. Soon? Not in my opinion. Replace what is with what can be? Also not.

Odds Listing
Per the above, you took the Giants, the game began, they are losing and you can now make another wager on their opponent to offset the first one...until the Giants take a two TD lead again thanks to a fumble recovery and interception on the next series. The mortgage payment, college education funds, grocery monies, vacation lay-away, better be in a lockbox with two security guards that remind you of your mother-in-law. I am not being cynical nor trying to emulate Nostradamus by any stretch of the imagination but, successful to some degree...any degree at all... is not a precursor for what might, or might not, happen in the sports seasons ahead.

Compulsive, addictive, habitual, abusive, pathological gambling is about to reach new heights and leave the mundane, enjoyable, profitable, pleasurable aspects of it behind. I am not sure we are ready for that or totally interested in it to the predictable degree of the pundits. And wagering is not something that interests you?

You gotta be kidding!