Wed. Feb 21st, 2024

Now in its 34th year, Outside the Lines, ESPN’s award-winning flagship journalism brand – widely acclaimed for its hard-hitting reporting, interviews and incisive commentary – will debut a multi-part series examining the state of sports betting in the United States on Thursday, Feb. 1, in the 7 a.m. and 2 p.m. ET editions of SportsCenter on ESPN. The series will continue over four consecutive days and will then be available on the ESPN YouTube channel. Outside the Lines premiered on ESPN in 1990.

The multi- platform presentation will include content on ESPN.com and the ESPN YouTube channel where Outside the Lines will air a comprehensive special ALL IN – Sports Betting in the U.S., with extensive reporting, storytelling, interviews and perspective. Additional OTL on SC segments on sports betting will premiere on SportsCenter later in February.

Set against the backdrop of Super Bowl LVIII taking place in Las Vegas, the OTL series will explore the shifting landscape of sports wagering since the 2018 Supreme Court decision that paved the way for its widespread legalization. All facets of the industry will be examined, from the impact of the proliferation of sports wagering apps such as FanDuel, DraftKings and ESPN BET, to the current legislative initiatives to address problem gambling, which is growing with the easy access to sports gambling.

The series and show are hosted 14-time Emmy Award winner Jeremy Schaap with reporting by Schaap, John Barr and David Purdum. Content, which will also appear on the ESPN YouTube channel, will include:

Part 1: The State of Sports Betting in the U.S.

Airs Thursday, Feb. 1, in 7 a.m. and 2 p.m. ET editions of SportsCenter 

As the Super Bowl comes to Las Vegas, what is the state of sports betting in the United States? How has the industry been transformed?
Bettors now carry sportsbooks in their pocket. How are people, especially younger ones, betting on the apps?
How social media has impacted the growth of sports betting.
How the sports wagering industry continues to break down the barriers that once separated it from the sports establishment.

Part 2: Isaiah Rodgers Sr.

Airs Friday, Feb. 2, in 7 a.m. and 2 p.m. ET editions of SportsCenter 

Exclusive interview with former Indianapolis Colts defensive back Isaiah Rodgers Sr. On June 29, 2023, the NFL suspended Rodgers indefinitely for violating the league’s gambling policy. Rodgers signed with the Eagles in August and will apply for reinstatement in the off-season.

 Part 3: What Happens in Vegas…

Debuts Saturday, Feb. 3, in 9 a.m. ET edition of SportsCenter 

In 2003, the NFL blocked a “What Happens in Vegas” ad from airing during the Super Bowl. Now, 21 years later, the Super Bowl is in Las Vegas.
How did the sports industry go from strong aversion to gambling to where things stand today?
Since the landmark 2018 Supreme Court decision, legal sports betting in the U.S. has rapidly expanded into 38 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. In that timeframe, Americans have legally wagered more than $300 billion on sports.
Leagues (including the NFL) now go “all-in” allowing the marketing blitz during games, having sports books inside sport venues, and more.

Part 4: The Risks of Sports Gambling

Debuts Sunday, Feb. 4, in 9 a.m. ET edition of SportsCenter 

Viewers will meet a financial advisor from New Jersey who recently won nearly a half a million dollars from a $5 bet. The odds were one in 9.8 million.
It is estimated that 7 million American adults suffer from gambling addiction. There are currently no federal funds designated for problem gambling treatment or research.
Schaap interviews “Randy,” a 23-year-old man who sought treatment for his gambling addiction interviewed is his counselor, who has his own story of getting in too deep.
Examining the mind of a gambler – interview with Dr. Timonthy Fong, a UCLA Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, and co-director of the school’s Gambling Studies Program.

Content on ESPN.com

A companion piece by Purdum and Elizabeth Merrill will appear on ESPN.com: In 2002, the NFL did not allow an ad – which birthed the now iconic phrase “What happens in Vegas” – to air during Super Bowl XXXVII because of concerns about sports betting. Now, two decades later, sports betting is legal in 38 states and the Super Bowl is coming to Vegas. Purdum and Merrill look back at the NFL’s relationship with America’s gambling capital – and explore how what happened in Vegas did not stay in Vegas.

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Outside the Lines launched as a periodic prime time news show in May of 1990 and has evolved through several formats. The 33-year-old brand has been honored with 15 Sports Emmy Awards, four Edward R. Murrow Awards, three Peabody Awards and a DuPont Award.

The series on sports betting marks the return of weekend Outside the Lines segments on SportsCenter. OTL on SC segments will regularly air in weekend morning editions as well as in selected other editions of ESPN’s signature news and information program through August.

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Media contact: [email protected]

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