Bomani Jones Gambling Screen grab: ‘The Right Time with Bomani Jones’

If you follow Bomani Jones on social media, you may have noticed that The Right Time host has been vocal regarding the state of sports gambling in recent weeks.

On Tuesday, the former ESPN host took perhaps his strongest stand against the industry yet, likening it to hard drugs.

“Actually, I think what’s happening is worse than that. That was the selling point for crypto, the payday,” Jones wrote, responding to a post from a user regarding sportsbooks promising an “easy payday” to its customers. “What the companies seem to be selling now is just a good time. Just add a little spice to your viewing experience. And by ‘spice,’ I mean ‘cocaine.’ Gambling is cocaine.”

“Just as dangerous: you can reasonably tell yourself you can get ‘clean’ by…doing more dope,” Jones added in a subsequent post after a follower noted that online sportsbooks are easier to access than drugs.


Regardless of where you personally stand on the legalization of sports betting across the United States, it would be impossible to not recognize that the sports industry is approaching a crossroads (if it isn’t there already). MLB has its hands full with the Shohei Ohtani controversy. The NBA is dealing with irregularities regarding Jontay Porter’s prop bets. And the NFL suspended several players ahead of the start of the 2023 season for gambling-related violations.

Even at ESPN, the Worldwide Leader is dealing with situations like Rece Davis referring to one of Erin Dolan’s bets as a “risk-free investment.” It’s one thing to tout a pick. It’s another to do so when your company’s name is plastered across a sportsbook, like ESPN Bet.

At this point, sportsbooks have shelled out so much money in advertising that it’s nearly impossible to find any aspect of sports that isn’t affected by gambling, including Jones’ show, which is sponsored by the daily fantasy company PrizePicks. Still, that affiliation hasn’t stopped the former Game Theory host from speaking out regarding what he views as an increasingly alarming trend in this industry.

“Just about all of us are getting paid by gambling companies, which will temper what we all say,” he wrote earlier this month. “But this fact can be said: we’re pitching something with a warning label. it miiiiight not end well.”

[Bomani Jones on X]

About Ben Axelrod

Ben Axelrod is a veteran of the sports media landscape, having most recently worked for NBC's Cleveland affiliate, WKYC. Prior to his time in Cleveland, he covered Ohio State football and the Big Ten for outlets including Cox Media Group, Bleacher Report, Scout and Rivals.