The World of Sports Betting in a World Without Sports

Back in March, before a worldwide health crisis upended his industry, the sports bettor widely known as “Spanky” traveled to Boston for the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference. After attending panels and conversing with speakers each day, he’d head to the same cigar bar every night, blissfully unaware of the ramifications his unwind time would soon yield. The consequences revealed themselves on March 12, as the leagues that hosted the games that Spanky bet on started to shut down at the exact same time his body did—and for the same reason. Pain shot through his stomach, sides and lower back. His shoulders and neck ached without end. He lost his sense of smell and taste, suffered from headaches, fought full-body cramps and registered a high fever.

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