NBA forces Shaq to ditch BetOnline as podcast sponsor

Basketball great Shaquille O’Neal’s ties to online sports betting operator BetOnline has earned a rebuke from the National Basketball Association.

Since 2015, Shaq has produced an extremely popular podcast titled The BIG Podcast with Shaq, which is distributed by podcast network PodcastOne. One of the BIG show’s top sponsors is Antigua-based online sportsbook BetOnline, but that relationship is set to end now that the NBA has finally clued in to the deal.

Bookies.com reported Monday that NBA officials had become aware of the connection after ads appeared listing BetOnline as a ‘presenting sponsor’ of the BIG podcast. While the BIG show’s online promos continue to display BetOnline links, an NBA official confirmed that the league had conducted an investigation which revealed that Antigua (shock!) was not one of the 50 US states and thus BetOnline’s connection to BIG would have to end.

(For the record, the legality of Antigua-licensed online betting operators serving US customers has been upheld by multiple rulings at the World Trade Organization. The unwillingness of the US government to acknowledge these defeats doesn’t make them any less valid, particularly when the US has repeatedly applied its own domestic laws on an extraterritorial basis.)

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