ESPN Betting Policy Prohibits Reporters and Insiders from Wagering on Sports they Cover
Bristol, Connecticut (November 11, 2023) –As ESPN Bet gets ready to launch later this month, one of the biggest questions posed to the company has been about how its employees will be allowed to engage in gaming.
Friday night, it provided an answer.
The Action Network’s Chase Howell obtained new guidelines ESPN sent out across the company, dictating what is and isn’t allowed for those interested in gambling. Those include strict rules for reporters and insiders, who are not only prohibited from betting on the sports or events they cover, but also from sharing confidential information that could be used to gain an edge in betting markets.
That attempts to draw a clear line for the likes of Adrian Wojnarowski, Jeff Passan, Adam Schefter and many more news-breakers at ESPN.
The guidelines feel especially necessary after The Athletic‘s Shams Charania, who partners with FanDuel, incorrectly reported NBA draft news that impacted betting lines.
Here’s the full guidelines per the Action Network:
At ESPN, we are dedicated to upholding the integrity of our brand and the events we broadcast. These Sports Betting Guidelines (“Guidelines”) establish the expected standards of behavior for our employees. They aim to define prohibited betting activities clearly and serve as a reference to ensure compliance.
These Guidelines work in conjunction with and supplement The Walt Disney Company’s Standards of Business Conduct and applicable TWDC employee policy manual or handbook (e.g., the U.S. Employee Policy Manual).
Prohibited Betting Activities: Do not use, disclose, or provide access to non-public information that you have been exposed to as part of your job (“Confidential Information”), for any betting-related purposes, including influencing others to place bets or disclosing such information to any sportsbook operator. This includes but is not limited to: (a) a player’s injury status or participation in a game or event; or (b) any other information about officials, players, coaches or management.
Do not place bets on games or events you are assigned to work or cover. For example, production personnel or journalists working on-site or off-site at or on a sporting event must abstain from betting on that particular game or event.
Talent designated as Reporters and Insiders are prohibited from placing, soliciting, or facilitating any bet on the properties (e.g., NFL, college football, NBA) they regularly cover. Employees who learn Confidential Information from Reporters or Insiders should never use such information for betting-related purposes.
Employees who manage the Company’s business relationships with sports leagues or properties on a day-to-day basis are prohibited from betting on those sports leagues or properties. Be extra cautious about certain types of bets. Certain types of bets are more susceptible to the influence of Confidential Information, because the outcomes are primarily determined by off-field decisions rather than on-field play. If there is any chance you have relevant Confidential Information, do not wager on awards votes (e.g., MVP, Cy Young), player personnel decisions (e.g., “Which team will Player X sign with?”), draft selections (e.g., “Who will be the first WR chosen in the NFL Draft?”) or other similar types of bets.
Uphold our journalistic integrity. No story should be reported, delayed, influenced or withheld with the intention of impacting betting lines. All employees must observe the strict boundaries that the Company maintains between our journalistic enterprise and the operations of a sportsbook and should not imply any control or influence over the operations of a sportsbook.
Avoid conflicts of interest. The Company strongly discourages employees from engaging in any betting-related activities that could call into question their or the Company’s integrity, or otherwise create actual or perceived conflicts ofillegal gambling. Employees are strictly prohibited from participating in or facilitating any form of illegal sports betting, including underage betting. Sports betting remains illegal in many states and jurisdictions.
ESPN may place further sports betting restrictions on any employee at any time in its sole discretion.
We’ll have to wait and see how this works out in practice. Entering into a licensing deal with a sportsbook is always going to be tricky for a business as interwoven with the leagues it covers as ESPN.
Clearly spelling out what its reporters, insiders and on-air talent can and cannot do will at least help fans and viewers know what to expect moving forward.
Gannett may earn revenue from sports betting operators for audience referrals to betting services. Sports betting operators have no influence over nor are any such revenues in any way dependent on or linked to the newsrooms or news coverage. Terms apply, see operator site for Terms and Conditions. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, help is available. Call the National Council on Problem Gambling 24/7 at 1-800-GAMBLER (NJ, OH), 1-800-522-4700 (CO), 1-800-BETS-OFF (IA), 1-800-9-WITH-IT (IN). Must be 21 or older to gamble. Sports betting and gambling are not legal in all locations. Be sure to comply with laws applicable where you reside.
SOURCE: USA Today Sports.Tags: ESPN betting policy