Elon faculty featured in FOX8 report on legalized sports betting in N.C.

The report by FOX8's Bob Buckley focused on how the expansion of legal sports betting could impact sports fans and the sports themselves.

The expansion of sports betting into North Carolina and other states is filling state coffers with revenues, as well as those of those taking the bets, while giving sports fans an avenue to put some money behind their passion for their teams or best instincts for which team will come out on top.

Elon in the News logo with FOX8 headlineBut is sports betting good for sports overall? David Bockino, associate professor of sport management at Elon, says no.

“I think it’s going to lead to a breakdown of the traditional fandom,” Bockino told FOX8’s Bob Buckley.

Insights from Bockino and fellow faculty member Bill Squadron, assistant professor of sport management, were featured in Buckley’s recent reporting on the expansion of legal sports betting into North Carolina.

“For the leagues, is it going to increase ratings and engagement and all these buzzwords they love to talk about,” Bocking said. “For sports as a cultural and societal entity, is it good for us as Americans to be gambling on sports? I think the answer is ‘no.’ I think it’s more fun to root for a team for the team’s sake.”

Bockino has detailed how the evolution of betting on sports as well as other factors have impacted sports in a new book, “Game On: How Sports Media Grew Up, Sold Out and Got Personal With Billions of Fans.”

Squadron equates the history of sports betting with that of Prohibition in the United States. “When the internet became a factor, it exploded and was global and was offshore and international … Suddenly, there was no way to manage it and … the prohibition model kicked in,” Squadron said.

However, the granular ways in which fans can now wager on athletic competitions could impact the perception of fairness. Fixing the outcome of a competition could be more challenging than the performance of an individual player or a single statistic during a competition.

“It leads to potential for manipulation in ways that simply the outcome of a game is much harder to fix or at least to create that suspicion,” Squadron said.

Watch the entire segment of The Buckley Report to learn more.

Before entering academia, Bockino worked at ESPN for seven years in both the Research and Analytics and International Ad Sales departments, collaborating closely with ESPN offices in Mexico, South America, Europe, Australia and Asia. Along with “Game On,” Bockino is the author of “The Guidebook Experiment” and the Kindle Single “Greetings from Myanmar.”  He has published research in Newspaper Research Journal, Asian Journal of Communication, and Journalism & Mass Communication Educator and presented research papers at AEJMC, ICA and others. His teaching, writing and research interests include the media business, sports, history and travel.

Squadron earned his law degree from the University of California at Berkeley and was previously a partner at Morrison & Foerster specializing in cable, broadcast and wireless regulation. He served as the New York City Commissioner of Telecommunications under Mayor David Dinkins, and as President of the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors, representing all municipalities in the discussions over the Cable Act of 1992.

Squadron was previously senior vice president for strategic planning at News Corp. and was named Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year for NYC in the Media category in 2001. He served as head of new media for IMG North America, from 2003 to 2006. He was president of Bloomberg Sports, the leader in sports data and analytics services, which was sold to Vista Equity Partners in 2015.