With actual sports on hiatus, gamblers have found new and exciting ways to lose their money. So, when the news broke that NBA players would participate in an “NBA 2K20” tournament for charity, bookmakers jumped at the chance to place odds on the games.
That turned out to be a mistake almost immediately. The tournament’s first game — which featured the Brooklyn Nets’ Kevin Durant vs. Miami Heat forward Derrick Jones Jr. — has resulted in a gambling controversy after it was discovered the game was pre-taped.
While the game was broadcast on ESPN, Durant and Jones had played the game earlier, meaning there were some people who could have known the results before the game aired.
That caused a big problem for sportsbooks, according to NBC Sports. Cool Media, a company that creates “newsworthy odds and props,” released a statement to NBC Sports saying it “became obvious that someone knew the outcome of the game.” Cool Media noticed there was an issue after Durant — their favorite — wasn’t getting any action.
The NBA 2K Players Only Tournament over the weekend caused a headache for sportsbooks because it was pre-taped, and information was ultimately leaked.
“We initially made Durant the favorite to win the tournament, but he was taking very little action over the course of the first 24 hours,” Robert Cooper, Odds Manager at SportsBetting.ag, said. “When we posted the first-round matchup lines and the bets were completely one-sided toward Jones Jr., it became obvious that someone knew the outcome of the game.”
If the game was pre-taped, it’s conceivable people who bet on the contest knew the outcome before the game aired on ESPN.
Still, it’s hard not to place some of the blame on sportsbooks for offering action on a pre-taped event in the first place. Without sports, sportsbooks need a way to bring in cash during the coronavirus shutdown.
Turns out, putting out odds for “NBA 2K20” games wasn’t the right answer.
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