When Bill Bradley, sports editor of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, first started his job in September 2015, he had the same reporter covering UNLV men’s hoops and sports betting.
But within a few weeks, he knew that wouldn’t work. So he split them up.
“The best thing I ever did since I got there was making a full-time sports betting writer,” Bradley said. “There’s so much content involved.”
Bradley joined Sportradar chief commercial officer Steve Byrd to discuss sports betting and how the Supreme Court’s recent ruling affects journalists and fans alike. Some states like New Jersey and Delaware have already introduced legalized sports betting.
Moderating the panel was Associated Press director of sports product Barry Bedlan.
Byrd brought more of a commercial angle, while Bradley touched on what newspapers can do now ahead of the coming wave of sports betting coverage. Sportradar is a company based out of Switzerland, and Byrd said it focuses on fast data and live odds to bookmakers.
Of course, sports betting is nothing new, especially across the globe. Byrd said in-game bets are popular overseas, and that’s where a company like Sportradar comes in.
But domestically, as states slowly start to legalize sports betting, newspapers will have to adapt.
“I think as soon as it’s legal, you better be ready,” Byrd said. “That’s what’s already showing up in New Jersey and Delaware.”
Bradley had a list of recommendations newspapers can make to adjust: Start to put betting lines online and in print, learn what sports betting actually is, among other suggestions.
And even if a full-time sports betting reporter is impractical, having beat writers know the nuanced language is important — though Bradley said they’re not allowed to bet on teams they cover.
“This legalized gambling will make newspapers more relevant,” Bradley said. “Because that is the generation of people they’re driving at. They know that is the demographic. Newspaper readers want to bet.”