FILE PHOTO: Sean McManus, chairmen of CBS Sports, speaks the Television Critics Association (TCA) Winter Press Tour in Pasadena, California, January 12, 2016. REUTERS/David McNew
NEW YORK (Reuters) – The Super Bowl may be the biggest sports wagering event in the United States each year, but announcers will not be talking about betting during the broadcast of the big game next month, CBS said on Thursday.
For the first time in nearly 30 years, Super Bowl fans will be able to bet legally on the game outside of Nevada, after New Jersey, West Virginia and a handful of other states legalized sports wagers after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in May overturned a 1992 prohibition.
However, announcers will not be discussing betting lines, over-unders or other wagering during the National Football League’s championship game in Atlanta on Feb. 3, CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus said at a news conference on Thursday.
“We will be flexible going forward, but it’s only been legalized in a few states so far,” McManus told Reuters. “It wasn’t something we were going to in some ways burden our announcers with.”
As sports wagers are legalized in more states in the years to come, however, he said the network could change its stance on discussing betting during live sports broadcasts.
Last year, Americans bet an estimated $4.76 billion on the Super Bowl, an upset win by the Philadelphia Eagles over the New England Patriots, with 97 percent of wagers placed illegally, the American Gaming Association has said.
Reporting by Hilary Russ; Editing By Bill Berkrot