Gambling increases TV ratings

The racing industry take note. Want higher TV ratings? Encourage gambling on your sport by race fans. Sports business expert David M. Carter said a reason auto racing faces several challenges trying to compete with football is because auto racing does not have as an extensive gambling subculture to boost its popularity.

Art Modell, a former NFL owner and early architect of the NFL's success, told The Baltimore Sun recently: "There's no question in my mind, and I hate to say it in public, but I have to be honest about it, the element of wagering by the average fan in office pools, man-to-man betting, even with bookmakers, has added a tremendous dimension to our game. It's brought millions of people to the TV set if they have a buck or two on a team."

Carter noted that ultimately all sports must eventually admit gambling is an important part of its popularity. "They've got to find moderation," he said. "Most people feel the office pool is OK. But they don't want it getting to the point where there is a sophisticated system to fix an event. "One glass of wine is OK, but put down a fifth of Jack Daniel's and you've got a problem. It's moderation, and Las Vegas is not known for moderation."

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