ESPN The Magazine’s First Ever Gambling Issue

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ESPN The Magazine’s First Ever Gambling Issue


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Will sports betting be legal in 50 years? Ten years? Five years? Never? Whatever your answer, there’s no denying the stakes are high.

On the cover:  In “I’m not pro sports gambling. I’m just a realist,”  written by David Purdum, NBA commissioner Adam Silver explains why he has become the unlikely spokesman in the movement to legalize sports gambling.



Gambling Issue Features

A Life on the Line

For four decades, other gamblers have tried to be Billy Walters while investigators have tried to bring him down. And for four decades, the world’s most successful sports bettor has outrun them all. By Mike Fish (Video)

Five voices on sports gambling legalization

Legitimate sports betting is old news around the world, but outside of Nevada, it’s uncharted territory in the United States. We asked experts to weigh in on the pros and cons of going legal.

Charles Barkley: “The notion that if they legalize it it’s going to become an epidemic is ridiculous.”

Ryan Rodenberg “Leagues will posit that types of data are proprietary and will seek licensing fees from sportsbooks and fantasy operators.”

Gambling Confidential

The Mag anonymously polled NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB pros to get their inside take on sports betting.

That’s some serious action, baby!

Sports betting commands a larger global marketplace than hedge funds and smartphones combined, and The Mag has the numbers to prove it.

From Madness to Insanity

Your March Madness bracket is a drop in the bucket next to the top-secret, high-payout Calcutta pools. By Jeff Ma

Additional Gambling Issue Highlights:

  • Cricket World Cup: In “From the Grounds Up,” Wayne Drehs reports how this year’s Cricket World Cup is helping Christchurch, New Zealand, rebuild after the city’s debilitating earthquake in 2011.
  • Tennis: Columnist Howard Bryant writes that many regard integration as a universal triumph of America’s long struggle for racial equality in “Net Loss”. But African-American tennis pioneer Art Carrington sees a different story.
  • UFC: The Mag’s Allison Glock tells the story of Cat Zingano—the only fighter and mother in UFC—who was named the number one contender for Ronda Rousey’s Women’s Bantamweight title. While training, Zingano suffered a knee injury, had surgery and months later injured her other knee. While recovering from both injuries, Zingano’s husband and trainer Mauricio Zingano suddenly committed suicide in January 2014. After nearly a year and half away from the Octagon, Zingano returned in September at UFC 178 and decisively defeated Amanda Nunes and is now in line to face Rousey for the title February 28.
  • NFL: In “Love in the time of Deflategate”, The Mag’s Seth Wickersham tells how the supposedly soulless Patriots swear a pastor’s embrace has powered their success. Jack Easterby is the Patriots’ team chaplain—and perhaps the most sought-after team chaplain in the history of sports. He first became the default chaplain for the Kansas City Chiefs, and counseled the team after Jovan Belcher’s murder-suicide. Word began to spread around the league, and last summer Easterby found himself in a bidding war. He picked the Pats, and now he’s so important that his office is next to Belichick’s.

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