Plenty of people gamble on the Super Bowl. There’s a reason people at Super Bowl parties really seem to care about the length of the national anthem. That’s nothing new.
But the gambling landscape changed in 2018. In March, the United States Supreme Court opened the door for legalized gambling across the country. It’s no longer just limited to Nevada. Some states, like New Jersey, jumped all over that opportunity. Others have taken strides toward making gambling legal.
While gambling is more accepted than ever, CBS is still going to take a cautious approach to the topic during the Super Bowl. And by be cautious, we mean the station’s announcers won’t mention it at all, according to Newsday’s Neil Best.
CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus said the network decided to impose that rule because gambling is only legal in a few places.
“It’s only legalized in a few states,” CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus said Thursday at an event in Manhattan to promote the network’s coverage of the Super Bowl. “We just had made the decision that it’s not the right thing to do now.”
This shouldn’t come as a surprise. CBS has not allowed its announcers to discuss gambling all season. That doesn’t just apply to CBS, either. It’s not exactly common to hear announcers make obvious references to gambling during any NFL game.
It does happen, of course. NBC broadcaster Al Michaels is famous for throwing out not so secret references to over/unders. He’s admitted to doing this. Even Joe Buck has referenced Michaels’ propensity to make allusions to gambling during games.
Those probably won’t happen during the Super Bowl. CBS play-by-play announcer Jim Nantz told Newsday he doesn’t really pay attention to gambling lines and won’t have a problem ignoring them during the broadcast.
For some fans, none of this is important. They couldn’t care less whether gambling gets mentioned during a broadcast. For others, this may come off as an extreme ruling from CBS. If gambling is legal and accepted, broadcasters shouldn’t have to avoid the topic.
As McManus stated, perhaps that will change as more states allow legalized gambling. For now, though, fans who care about gambling lines and over/unders will have to get their information somewhere other than the Super Bowl broadcast.
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