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Cavs Coach Bickerstaff Cautious about Betting’s ‘Dark Side

Cavs Coach Bickerstaff Cautious about Betting's 'Dark Side

Sports betting will “grow everyone’s finances,” but more education will be needed to prevent fans and athletes from becoming victims of their dark side, believes Cleveland Cavaliers coach J.Bickerstaff.

Bump on Finances

In partnership with Caesars Entertainment, the Cavaliers opened Caesars Sportsbook at their Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse just a day after Ohio officially launched sports betting on January 1, 2023. Bickerstaff reflected on the opportunities and challenges that sports betting poses for The News, herald.” I think it’s something that going forward we need to spend more time educating ourselves and all our boys because we know the negative or dark side,” he said, asking everyone. The team should be careful as “there are so many things that can cause problems” while appearing innocent. 

He then gave an example regarding a situation in which a sports fan walking down the street recognizes you and asks about the involvement of a dubious player: a position where, if you are not careful enough, you may violate NBA rules of the game if he provides an answer because this guy can turn the information into a bet. That bet will be associated with him. Bickerstaff then added that he wasn’t opposed to sports betting but that it “needs to be managed properly and people educated about it” as it meets fans’ need for more than just sports and provides the Cavs with an additional source of funding. 

Laying Trust on the League

In terms of the integrity of the game, Bickerstaff looks to the NBA, confident that “they will not do anything to compromise the integrity of this league” and has “complete faith in it.” At launch, Ohio launched Pause Before You Play, a responsible gambling campaign based on the Prepare Before You Gamble problem gambling education program formerly run by Ohio Responsible Gambling. Spread over two floors, Caesars Sportsbook is open seven days a week, 362 days a year, and serves visitors during the Cavs’ home games and arena events such as concerts, professional wrestling, or Disney on Ice. With access from both the arena and the street, Caesars Sportsbook is expected to appeal to passionate Cleveland players as well as casual sports fans willing to put in a little effort, and the first five months of 2023 are looking promising with a busy NFL sports schedule -Layoffs, March Madness, and Cavaliers games. Caesars Sportsbook is one of 13 sportsbook retailers, along with 16 digital operators, licensed to offer sportsbooks in the state, which promises to be one of the largest sportsbook markets in the country.

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