Vegas Insider

Sports means gambling for milk money at CBS Sportsline and Vegas Insider

An Article, “Sports More than Milk Money for Rotunda”, written and published by Lynda Collins for the VEGAS INSIDER web site (www.vegasinsider.com), glamorizes school children betting their lunch money on sporting events.

The Tangled Web of Players:

Please note:  Despite the listing as such in the latest prospectus on file at the SEC, Thomas Wargo is no longer Vice President of SportsLine as was originally reported in this article.

Lynda Collins is a free lance writer now working for Vegas Insider.

Vegas Insider is part of SportsLine USA, Inc. SportsLine, USA has linked their web pages to the web address they run for Vegas Insider. Vegas Insider provides tout services and bookmaking-related articles to gamblers, as well as a real-time line service used by illegal bookmakers throughout the country.

SportsLine USA, Inc. is a publicly traded company on the NASDAQ. Investors and content providers for SportsLine, USA include, among others, well-known sports personalities Michael Jordan, Shaquille O’Neal, Wayne Gretzky, and Joe Namath.

CBS SportsLine (http://cbs.sportsline.com) is the World Wide Web name for the SportsLine, USA site under an agreement dating from early 1997 which gives SportsLine, USA the right to use the CBS name and logo.

CBS is the well-known media giant and web partner of SportsLine, USA. In March 1997 CBS purchased a 12% stake in SportsLine, USA. CBS recently inked a deal with the NFL to televise NFL games. The NFL has been a staunch opponent of sports gambling. CBS also has an agreement to market SportsLine, USA.

Michael Levy is CEO of SportsLine, USA.

Global Internet is an off shore bookmaking operation based in Venezuela which has recently agreed to rent web space from the CBS SportsLine Web Site. This agreement was made despite public statements by CEO Michael Levy that “SportsLine has nothing to do with gambling.”

America On Line (AOL) is a family-oriented Internet provider currently negotiating a deal to make CBS SportsLine the anchor of its Sports Channel content providers. Such an agreement, if completed, would be the philosophical equivalent of Walt Disney inking a deal to make the famous Nevada Chicken Ranch (a legalized place of prostitution) the centerpiece in its theme park.

Data Broadcasting Corp. provides betting-related information to Vegas Insider. Data Broadcasting and CBS are 50% partners in an unrelated venture known as MarketWatch.com.

National Football League (NFL) is the governing body of professional football and has recently made a deal to televise and promote NFL games on CBS. The NFL, along with the NCAA has taken a public stance against spots betting.

Historical Background

When CBS bought their stake in SportsLine, the tout business being run under the name Vegas Insider was banished to a separate web address. SportsLine, however, maintained ownership, web links, advertising banners, offices, billing and sales staffs for Vegas Insider, as well as complete control over Vegas Insider content.

The NFL and the NCAA have, it is rumored, failed to make agreements directly with SportsLine, USA because of the gambling content provided by SportLine’s Vegas Insider arm. That reluctance recently sparked statements from SportsLine CEO Michael Levy that “Vegas Insider has nothing to do with gambling.”

Ownership and even brand partnering, however, did not seem to phase the NFL when the big money was on the line. The NFL is being televised on CBS despite CBS ownership and sharing of their name and logo with SportsLine, USA, the internet company that is renting space to bookmakers, providing real time betting line changes for bookmakers and gamblers, providing tout information, and which now glorifies underage gambling in the illegal market.

The Offending Article

In a move no less callous and morally bankrupt than the companies who promoted cigarettes and beer to teenagers, Vegas Insider commissioned their in-house writer/reporter Lynda Collins to pen an article promoting one or their touts as a “Big man on campus” for taking “milk money” from his grade school friends and betting it for them with an illegal bookmaker.

Hard as it may be to believe, the same company that wants us to trust our children to their care with special children’s pages called Kid Zone, began an article promoting one of their 51year old Vegas touts with the following words: “Like many boys in their teens, Jimmy Rotunda played sports. Unlike most, he also bet on them.” The article goes on to call the tout “a [High School] campus big shot during the mid-1960’s * * * because he knew ‘The Man’ who ran the local ‘candy’ store and was even was allowed inside it after all the other kids got kicked out.” The writer of this piece of trash aimed at the young, Lynda Collins, goes on to speak glowingly of the tout’s childhood lifestyle by describing how “Every day, Jimmy would collect his buddies’ lunch and milk money — roughly $6 daily — then visit his uncle’s bookmaker and wager it on sports.” It even describes how teenagers can fool their parents without actually lying to them.

That’s wonderful isn’t it? Exactly why SportsLine, USA, under its Vegas Insider brand, would think that the school age behavior of a 51-year-old is relevant to his skill today is never explained, but it is clear that the skill of the tout is not the point. The actual message is clearer than those youngsters having a beer bash on the beach, or Joe Cool for Camels. If you want to be a big-man-on-campus at your High School, and get “candy” store privileges which denied to your friends, all you need do is collect that lunch money and bring it to the “Man”. Someday you to might even be “The Man”.

That a company that wants us to trust them with our children thinks the story lifestyle in question is somehow praiseworthy is frightening, if not thoroughly alarming. That the NFL and NCAA, as well as AOL, have tied themselves to people who believe that helping an adult bookmaker take lunch money from kids is the stuff that makes skill at sports handicapping, not to mention nostalgic entertainment, is mind boggling in its hypocrisy.

Should the company that publishes such content also be the home for well-known role models like Michael Jordan, Shaquille O’Neal, and Wayne Gretzky? We have contacted them and we will let you know their position as soon as we receive it.

Gambling is an adult pass time. The risking of lunch money by school children is not the stuff of legend, nor is it a source of pride. It represents the worst that the gambling industry has to offer, and the reason that those who advocate the suppression of gambling still find so much support.
thedailyspread.com | January 13th, 1999

– – – – – – – – – – – –About the writer
Rob Crowne is a professional level sports bettor and owner of the Crowne Club. His free pick line was the impetus for the creation of our site. 

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