Mar 21, 2024 - News

Cavs head coach says he received threats from sports gamblers

Cavs' head coach JB Bickerstaff in a white shirt with arms crossed on the the sideline.

J.B. Bickerstaff says the NBA is walking a delicate line. Photo: Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Cleveland Cavaliers head coach J.B. Bickerstaff on Wednesday told reporters he has received threatening text messages from disgruntled gamblers who'd tracked down his phone number.

Why it matters: Sports betting is becoming increasingly part of local and national television broadcasts and is having a psychological impact on players.

What they're saying: "I think we really have to be careful with how close we let [sports gambling] get to the game and the security of the people who are involved in it because it does carry a weight," he said.

  • "A lot of times, for the people who are gambling, this money pays their bills or their rent, and there are emotions that come from that."

The intrigue: Bickerstaff said that gamblers who'd lost bets sent him "crazy messages" that included his home address and referenced his children.

  • He reported the incidents to the league, he said, and an offender was located, though no charges were ultimately filed.

The latest: NBA League Pass, the official platform for streaming out-of-market games, this week announced that fans will now be able to track betting odds as they watch games live on the app.

  • They'll be able to click through to make wagers via the league's betting partners.

By the numbers: Ohioans bet nearly $7.7 billion in legal gambling's first year, or $878 for every resident above the legal betting age of 21.

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