In early August, a friend of mine invited me to like the Facebook group entitled “Stand Against Barstool Sports Rape Culture.”
It didn’t take much digging to figure out why my friend Kat Stratford had created this group. Barstool Sports founder David Portnoy has quite Internet rap sheet when it comes to sexist behavior and raunchy, misogynist comments about women. With boobs, butts, beers, and blackout parties, Portnoy built the “bro culture” and Barstool Sports. What started as a Boston fantasy sports and gambling newsletter and blog has become a multimillion-dollar, multimedia sports, pop-culture and gaming conglomerate.
On July 27, 2021, Portnoy announced on Twitter that the University of Arizona had offered him a “unicorn deal” by choosing Barstool Sports as the new naming sponsor of the heretofore lackluster Arizona Bowl, which is played at Arizona Stadium on New Year’s Eve. They will not only get multi-year naming privileges and notoriety through the Barstool Sports Arizona Bowl, the deal with the University also gives Barstool exclusive broadcast rights to the game. Bye, bye, CBS TV.
Exactly one month later on August 27, 2021 the Arizona Department of Gaming announced 18 of the state’s sports betting licenses and their corporate sportsbook partners. Phoenix Raceway was awarded an online sports betting license, and Barstool Sports is their partner. This contract allows Barstool Sports to run bets on the Barstool Sports Arizona Bowl during the game.
Continue reading Podcast: Arizona Bowl: Using Sex to Sell Football & Gaming (video)
Today — April 15, 2021 — Governor Doug Ducey signed legislation that legalizes sports betting, fantasy sports betting, and other off-reservation forms of gambling on a bipartisan vote. In fact, without strong support from Democrats, HB2772 and its Senate mirror bill would have died. More Republicans voted “no” than Democrats; I was one of only four Democrats who voted no. I still have serious concerns about the public health consequences of widespread gambling (particularly smart-phone-based gambling) and about the privacy of user data. This deal with the governor will allow the tribes to add online gaming and more brick-and-motor casinos with renewal of the gaming compact.
The following blog post and video were originally published on Facebook on February 10, 2021.
HB2772 is a bill legalizing fantasy sports betting and event wagering. This bill is more than 40 pages long and has a five page amendment.
Why is it so long and complicated? Because it represents a dramatic increase in gambling, particularly mobile device gambling in Arizona.￼ This bill legalizes gambling outside of the casinos and beyond lottery tickets. HB2772 is Governor Doug Ducey’s plan to “modernize gaming”. OK, I have been preaching that businesses and industries need to reinvent themselves to survive COVID. The past is gone, and they need to rethink their business models for the post pandemic world. HB2772 is the gaming industry reinventing itself by shifting to other types of legal betting, more gambling locations (off tribal lands), mobile device gambling, and sports betting. (What could go wrong?)
Continue reading Big Brother Is Watching: Gambling Goes Mobile in #AZ (video)