Washington Mystics and Monumental Sports & Entertainment chairman Ted Leonsis recently was interviewed by WTEM ESPN 980 in Washington, DC on the topic of sports gambling – and had an interesting idea he feels could help the WNBA.
Leonsis believes that he sees a future in sports where attendees who are looking to bet on games can do so right from the bleachers. He even believes that if fans were able to place wagers on WNBA contests that it would drive more interest in women’s basketball as a whole.
It’s kind of like when prohibition of liquor was happening, and people were drinking in speakeasies and the like. And so it’s estimated that there’s hundreds and hundreds of billions of dollars that are being spent with bookies.
Leonsis, in addition to believing that legalized gambling could be a boon to sports leagues like the WNBA, NFL, and NBA, also said in the interview he sees ESPN2, a primary television partner of the W, doing something radical.
I joked the other day with someone from ESPN. I said look, if you’re a day trader and or you’re in the financial community, you have CNBC on 24/7. And there are buy-side analysts and there are sell-side analysts and there’s a ticker. You could see one day ESPN2 being like CNBC.
To clarify, he sees ESPN2 becoming a one stop shop for sports gamblers.
The realm of daily fantasy has been compared in many ways to gambling. It is a realm that the WNBA embraced under the Lisa Borders presidency per its deal with FanDuel.