Day At The Track

Do the media cause proliferation of gambling?

05:14 PM 31 Jan 2011 NZDT
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You would not expect to open your local newspaper and get a price list of illegal drugs for sale; But that's just about what you can get today when you open your local newspaper to the sports pages all over the country. True, you don't see drug prices but you do see lines and point spreads on sporting events.

Illegal drugs can't be bought, legally in any state. You can't place a legal bet in America, except in Las Vegas. I know it's in because it sells newspapers.

There are ads in newspapers for 800 and 900 numbers that sell information to gamblers. Some of these ads read : "Get the game of the month free", "We pick 75% winners", "Last week we went 11 for 12", and " Get our lock of the week".

I still can't believe that newspapers carry ads from these so called handicappers, who are really scandicappers. It's also interesting to note how often the information is incorrect.

I remember going to speak at Northwestern University a few years ago. That day I read in USA Today that Danny Sheridan wrote: "Northwestern was a million to one to win the Big 10". Well, they did win the Big 10 and went to the Rose bowl. I also remember when the Dallas Morning News had a gorilla in the Dallas Zoo make football picks for them. The gorillas' picks were doing better than the sports writers.

If you read the Sports Illustrated Story, written by Tim Layden in April of 1995 about gambling on the college campus, you now know what every youth on a college campus knows; gambling is running rampid on every college campus. Odds and point spreads have become a normal topic of conversation amongst these students. Gambling is as available as a can of beer or a pack of cigarettes and the student bookmakers get the lines they use straight out of their local newspapers.

In 1982 I was involved with trying to help a compulsive gambler who was an ex college star athlete. He owed $350,000 in gambling debts. It all started five years before when he played a football ticket for $5. No doubt the person providing the football ticket got the lines from their local newspaper

Picture the following scenario: A young man uses the lines and odds from his local newspaper and uses it to set up a bookmaking operation in the local town pub. A law officer comes in and arrests the bookmaker and players. The next day the headline in the paper says: " John Doe Arrested For Bookmaking and Hank Smith Arrested For Illegally Betting". Hypocrisy you say? The very newspaper that carried the lines, now is carrying this headline.

It seems to me that the message we are sending the youth of America is: Education is not necessary. You will be able to make your life fortune by pulling a slot machine , buying a lottery ticket or winning a bet on a game.

The NCAA understands this issue as they have discussed taking away press credentials at the Final Four, from newspapers that carry the lines.

Sports betting is a big problem for compulsive gamblers. I used to run a national hotline and 47% of the callers were sports bettors. Because compulsive gambling is an Impulse Control Disorder (as stated by the American Psychiatric Association), reading the lines in the newspaper can often trigger a gambling binge. Some recovering compulsive gamblers can't buy a newspaper because of the anxiety it causes. I don't see much difference between casinos serving free drinks to an alcoholic or newspapers putting lines out for compulsive gamblers to read.

Years ago only some newspapers carried the line. Now you can rarely pick up a newspaper that doesn't. You also never heard electronic media discussing odds. Today it is common to hear such a discussion. Recently someone told me that they heard a commentator on a national TV football game say: "They covered the spread."

• Years ago I was on a TV show with Howard Cossell (ABC Sports Beat). The topic was: Does the media encourage the public to gamble? Bobby Knight, Indiana basketball coach, said: "A newspaper who published point spreads should also publish names and addresses of services that render to prostitutes. They practically have the same legality in every one of our states, and I can't see why one is any better than the other." On the same show former baseball commissioner Bowie Kuhn said: "Anything that encourages gambling on team sports bothers me. We all look hypocritical but than why are we putting up the odds unless we are trying to encourage it." David Stern, NBA commissioner said: "We don't want the weeks' grocery money to be bet on the outcome of a particular sporting event."

I would like to pose a few questions:

• Do point spreads in newspapers cause a proliferation of gambling?

• Do people see point spreads in the newspaper and think it is legal to place a bet?

• Does the media entice people to gamble?

• Does the media have any responsibility for the increase in numbers of compulsive gamblers in America?

• Does the media give the appearance that it promotes and condones gambling?

I think the responsible thing to do would be for newspapers to carry a public service message (Need Help For A Gambling Problem? Call: 1-888 LAST BET).

If you want to talk to arnie see info below 

Arnie & Sheila Wexler Associates

Boynton Beach f FL

Arnie Wexler --

Office: 561-200-0165

Mobile: 954 501-5270

Its unreal what gamblers can bet on this year


*February 6*

*Super Bowl XLV*

*Arlington, TX*

Packers * 2.5 * 2.5 * (45.5) * Steelers*


Money Line: Packers -$140 vs. Steelers +$120.

1st half line: Packers -1.

1st half total: Over/under 23.


Team to score first: Packers -$130 vs. Steelers +$110*

Team to score last: Packers -$110 vs. Steelers -$110*

Team to win the coin toss: Packers -$110 vs. Steelers -$110*

Team to have first coach's challenge: Packers -$110 vs. Steelers -$110*

Team to call the first timeout: Packers -$110 vs. Steelers -$110*

Team to commit the first penalty: Packers -$110 vs. Steelers -$110*

First team to score in the 2nd half: Packers -$110 vs. Steelers -$110*

Will the game go into OT: No -$2500 vs. yes +$1200*

Will there be a safety: No -$1500 vs. yes +$900*

Will the team that scores first win the game: Yes -$170 vs. no +$150*

Will there be a score in the final 2 minutes of the 1st half: Yes -$240 vs. no +$200*

Will either team score 3 unanswered times: Yes -$150 vs. no +$130*

Where will the final score (total) land: Odd -$130 vs. even +$110*

Total FG's: Over/under 3.5.

Total punts: Over/under 9.5.

Total sacks: Over/under 5.5.

Total passing yards for Aaron Rodgers: Over/under 272.5.

Total rushing yards for Aaron Rodgers: Over/under 19.5.

Total passing attempts for Aaron Rodgers: Over/under 34.5.

Total completions for Aaron Rodgers: Over/under 22.5.

Total TD's for Aaron Rodgers: Over/under 1.5.

Total passing yards for Ben Roethlisberger: Over/under 245.5.

Total rushing yards for Ben Roethlisberger: Over/under 14.5.

Total passing attempts for Ben Roethlisberger: Over/under 30.5.

Total completions for Ben Roethlisberger: Over/under 19.5.

Total TD's for Ben Roethlisberger: Over/under 1.5.

Total rushing yards for Rashard Mendenhall: Over/under 79.5.

Total rushing attempts for Rashard Mendenhall: Over/under 22.5.

Total rushing yards for James Starks: Over/under 57.5.

Total rushing attempts for James Starks: Over/under 20.5.

Total receiving yards for Greg Jennings: Over/under 80.5.

Total receptions for Greg Jennings: Over/under 5.5.

Total receiving yards for Donald Driver: Over/under 48.5.

Total receptions for Donald Driver: Over/under 4.5.

Total receiving yards for Jordy Nelson: Over/under 37.5.

Total receptions for Jordy Nelson: Over/under 3.5.

Total receiving yards for Mike Wallace: Over/under 71.5.

Total receptions for Mike Wallace: Over/under 4.5.

Total receiving yards for Hines Ward: Over/under 44.5.

Total receptions for Hines Ward: Over/under 3.5.

Total receiving yards for Heath Miller: Over/under 37.5.

Total receptions for Heath Miller: Over/under 3.5.

Longest FG: Over/under 44.5 yards.

Shortest FG: Over/under 23.5 yards.

Longest TD: Over/under 46.5 yards.

Shortest TD: Over/under 1.5 yards.


Aaron Rodger's first pass:

Complete -$200*

Incomplete +$170*

Interception +$1200*


Ben Roethlisberger's first pass:

Complete -$220*

Incomplete +$180*

Interception +$1200*


First score of the game:

Touchdown -$160*

Field goal +$120*

Any other score +$3500*


First turnover of the game:

Interception -$150*

Fumble +$130*

No turnovers +$800*


First team to score 10 points:

Packers -$120*

Steelers even*

Neither team +$3500*


First scoring play:

Packers touchdown +$160*

Steelers touchdown +$220*

Packers field goal +$240*

Steelers field goal +$320*

Packers safety +$10000*

Steelers safety +$10000*


Highest scoring half:

1st half -$110*

2nd half -$110*


Highest scoring quarter:

2nd quarter +$150*

4th quarter +$170*

3rd quarter +$380*

1st quarter +$420*


*Super Bowl MVP*


Aaron Rodgers 2/1*

Ben Roethlisberger 5/2*

Rashard Mendenhall 6/1*

Greg Jennings 8/1*

James Starks 10/1*

Mike Wallace 12/1*

Troy Polamalu 15/1*

Donald Driver 18/1*

Charles Woodson 20/1*

Hines Ward 20/1*

James Harrison 20/1*

Clay Matthews 20/1*

James Jones 25/1*

Heath Miller 25/1*

Emmanuel Sanders 25/1*

A.J. Hawk 25/1*

James Farrior 25/1*

Jordy Nelson 25/1*

Lawrence Timmons 25/1*

Tramon Williams 25/1*

Sam Shields 25/1*

Field 10/1*


*Player to score the first touchdown*


Greg Jennings 9/2*

Rashard Mendenhall 5/1*

James Starks 6/1*

Mike Wallace 8/1*

Heath Miller 10/1*

Jordy Nelson 10/1*

Donald Driver 10/1*

Hines Ward 12/1*

James Jones 12/1*

Emmanuel Sanders 15/1*

Aaron Rodgers 15/1*

Antonio Brown 15/1*

Ben Roethlisberger 18/1*

John Kuhn 25/1*

Field 8/1*


*NFL Winning Margin Proposition*


Packers * Winning Margin * Steelers*


3/1 * 1-6 points * 7/2*

9/2 * 7-12 points * 5/1*

7/1 * 13-18 points * 8/1*

15/1 * 19-24 points * 18/1*

25/1 * 25-30 points * 30/1*

50/1 * 31-36 points * 60/1*

100/1 * 37-42 points * 100/1*

200/1 * 43 or more points * 200/1*


*Double Result*


Packers lead at halftime & win 3/2*

Steelers lead at halftime & win 5/2*

Packers lead at halftime & Steelers win 7/1*

Steelers lead at halftime & Packers win 6/1*

Tied at halftime & Packers win 15/1*

Tied at halftime & Steelers win 18/1*


*Total points scored in the 1st quarter*


7 points +$400*

3 points +$420*

0 points +$450*

10 points +$500*

14 points +$500*

6 points +$800*

17 points +$1000*

13 points +$1500*

21 points +$1500*

9 points +$2000*

27 points +$3000*

20 points +$3000*

24 points +$4000*

15 points +$6000*

12 points +$8000*

2 points +$10000*


*Total number of TD's scored*


Six +$400*

Five +$420*

Seven +$450*

Four +$500*

Eight +$600*

Three +$800*

Nine +$1000*

Ten +$1500*

Two +$1800*

One +$4000*

None +$6000*


How long will it take Christina Aguilera to sing the

National Anthem:

Over/under 1 minute 54.5 seconds.


How long will Christina Aguilera hold the word "brave"

at the end of the National Anthem:

Over/under 8.5 seconds.


How many times will Jerry Jones appear on TV during

the game:

Over/under 3.


*Color of Gatorade dumped on the winning head coach*


Yellow +$120*

Red +$150*

Clear +$200*

Orange +$400*

Lime Green +$500*

Blue +$1000*


*Highest rating on USA Today's annual Ad Meter*


Bud/Bud Light +$250*

Doritos +$400*

E*Trade +$500*

Coca-Cola +$500*

Pepsi Max +$500*

Pizza Hut +$800* +$1000*

Skechers +$1000*

Volkswagen +$1000*

Teleflora +$1200*


Arnie Wexler

Arnie & Sheila Wexler Associates

Boynton Beach, FL 561-200-0165 

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