Craig Carton is a gambling addict hosting a show on a sports radio station that takes full advantage of the country’s sports betting boom.
Carton doesn’t hide his addiction while co-hosting his WFAN afternoon show with Evan Roberts, often detailing the dangers of gambling for a person who is unable to bet responsibly. And like nearly every sports media platform in the country, WFAN willingly takes money from companies and services looking to attract the growing percentage of adults who wager on sports in some form.
Last week, a caller phoned into WFAN’s afternoon show and asked about the tout services being advertised on the station, and to his credit, Carton didn’t shy away from criticizing what the ad promises.
“I’m vehemently and passionately opposed to those commercials being on the radio station,” Carton said. “I don’t like listening to them because I question them from jump street about the promises and pledges they make in them. But again, it is not my decision to make. I host a radio show here. I don’t dictate, nor should I, how the company makes their money.”
In recent years, WFAN has been a place where you can expect to hear commercials for daily fantasy sports or sportsbooks making claims such as “better odds.” While Carton preaches the dangers of all forms of gambling for those who can’t do it responsibly, this rant referred specifically to services selling their NFL picks. WFAN’s afternoon show does give their own football picks every Friday afternoon. Carton, however, doesn’t take part, and those who do are not selling them, nor are they even promoting themselves as having any virtuosity on the topic over the average listener.
“I’m a compulsive gambler,” Carton continued. “When I hear the commercials you’re referencing, it makes me have the heebie-jeebies because it’s everything in my opinion that we try to warn people about.”
This is the second time in recent months a prominent WFAN host took issue with a commercial aired by the station. Earlier this year, Gregg Giannotti and Boomer Esiason both criticized WFAN for taking “blood money” when they advertised the LIV Golf event being held at Trump Bedminster.
Despite having a cast of critics, Carton continues to be open about his addiction and the crimes he committed to earn a year of jail time. Carton hosts a Saturday morning show on WFAN, Hello My Name is Craig, which focuses on compulsive gambling, and last year, he partnered with FanDuel to be a responsible gaming advocate. As of May, an estimated $125 billion has been wagered on sports through legal gambling outlets in the four years since the US Supreme Court opened the door for every state to offer it.