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Betting could be 'X' factor for new pro football league

SeattlePI.com Friday, 7 February 2020
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — Knowing its season begins less than a week after one of the biggest betting events in America, the new XFL is embracing sports betting in a major way.

The revived league owned by wrestling impresario Vince McMahon will consciously appeal to fans accustomed to betting on professional or college football — and who otherwise would have nothing to bet on for months. Its first games will be played less than a week after the NFL's Super Bowl.

From inviting sportsbook operators to a mini-camp to meeting with gambling companies to ask what they'd like to see from a football league, putting point spreads on the TV screen, and giving teams the option of seeking different numbers of points after a score, the XFL is baking sports betting into its operations as a crucial part of the recipe.

“We are embracing the spread from the start," said Jeffrey Pollack, the league's president and chief operating officer. "This is a core business strategy for the XFL. We understand that for a lot of our fans, betting on the games has become as essential to the game experience as the helmet, ball and jerseys. That’s what we’re gearing up to provide. Our mission and our infrastructure are geared to the sports betting future that is coming fast. There are incredible opportunities.”

So far, gambling regulators in at least nine states have approved wagering on XFL games: New Jersey, Nevada, Pennsylvania, New York, Iowa, Indiana, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and West Virginia.

And in a big change for a major professional league in the U.S., ABC and ESPN will continuously broadcast the point spread and the under/over on total points scored in the game as part of their on-screen graphics. Announcers will even discuss how a particular play affects the point spread or the over/under — something you never hear on...

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“Giveaway Dude” @iim_riskyy That’s the biggest factor is research. I’ve made substantial numbers betting against the market for 6 s… https://t.co/XJXr9o65k3 6 days ago


Dorothy Ours @TheSirBarton Could characterize by decades or depending on factor(s) being measured--for example, milestones in dr… https://t.co/3aJrAHekj5 6 days ago

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