I’ll Bet. No I Won’t!

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I don’t want to place a bet!

Why when I try to view a cricket scorecard online should I be just one slip of the finger away from gambling? Once I’m viewing the scorecard, I don’t want to see the odds regarding which batsman will be out next either. I just want to know the score and who scored what.

I love Cricinfo. It’s a great source of information and I’d struggle to write this blog without being able to view scorecards and player records etc (But not just copy articles!) so easily but… What about children that are logging online and being presented with gambling opportunities? If somebody wants to place a bet then they should have to go to a specific website for that.

I don’t have a TV but when I watch sport at other people’s houses the commercials are almost exclusively about in-play gambling. People should be able to enjoy sport without placing a bet.

Now for a little hypocrisy, I do play fantasy cricket and football. I select one team at the start of the season and in the case of cricket I pay for it. It can provide a little added interest during the season especially when competing against friends and family. I guess that’s what some people need, that added interest or thrill but I wouldn’t quite put picking a fantasy team in the same bracket as regular gambling (Results or in-match). It hasn’t led to me suffering from gambling addiction. I know of ex-work colleagues for whom gambling was literally another income alongside their part-time hours and benefit claims!

Tobacco advertising has fallen by the wayside. Alcohol is in part at least, heading the same way. If gambling can be an addiction and therefore a disease, if these adverts are going to be on the telly then they should be limited to post watershed. I’m sure that such is the capability of the internet that Cricinfo could limit betting options until after 9pm in each country if it chose to.

Maybe we’ll see the end of all these gambling commercials and internet betting buttons soon but I wouldn’t bet on it!

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