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Super Bowl Puts Sports, Gaming Link in Forefront
Bill Wilson sat in his Qualcomm Stadium office this week in San
Diego, looked at a framed 25-by-30-inch color photograph of last year’s
Super Bowl and found something out of place.
There on the scoreboard was a placard advertising the nearby Sycuan
resort, standing out because it’s an Indian casino.
By NFL decree, about 50 billboards in the stadium, including those
promoting nearby Indian casinos such as the Las Vegas-style Barona
Valley Ranch Casino, were covered before last year’s championship game.
But they missed the Sycuan ad.
"What can I say?" said Wilson, Qualcomm’s 71-year-old stadium general
manager who then broke into a hearty laugh. "I can’t deny or admit … I
shouldn’t comment, even though I’m older than dirt and will retire in a
year and a quarter.
"Aw, you can quote me. They’ll be (mad), but who cares?"
The NFL has a strict policy outlawing gaming ads during the Super
Bowl, either in the stadium or during the telecast. Wilson said the
billboard ads covered were done so "by order of the NFL."
But several photographs of that scoreboard appeared in publications
worldwide during the week of the game.
Not bad exposure for the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation, which
operates a casino that includes an off-track horse betting parlor. The
casino has been a San Diego Padres sponsor since 2000.
That ad seen during last year’s Super Bowl further blurs a sometimes
hypocritical relationship between sports and gaming.
For the second year in a row, the NFL rejected a Las Vegas Convention
and Visitors Authority commercial that did not reference gambling, yet
in San Diego billboards advertising Indian "resorts" can be displayed
during regular season games as long as they don’t include the word
Las Vegas is a destination for millions of gamblers, including NFL
players who are allowed to bet on anything but their own sport.
And while professional sports leagues have routinely snubbed Las
Vegas’ appetite for a franchise, in part because of the gaming, the NBA
allows a WNBA team to play at a Connecticut casino.
entire article at:
Las Vegas Sun
2004 Online Casino News Archive