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Vol. 11 - Issue 3
June 15, 2022


Encore: Randy Spencer’s Open Mic

Legalized Sports Betting Is Coming: The Gambler’s Protection Policy







This Open Mic column originally appeared in the June 6, 2018 issue of Coverage Opinions 


By now you’ve heard, a lot, that legalized sports betting will soon be available from sea to shining sea.  Not long ago the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the federal law that prohibited states from allowing its citizens to wager on the Baltimore Orioles.  For some this is the greatest thing to happen to sports since the yellow line on the television showing the first down marker.  Others see it as the worst thing to happen to sports since the NCAA Tournament play-in games.  And there are those who worry about the possible human impact -- a world of degenerate gamblers, who’ve lost it all, now walking the streets begging for money to bet on the Orioles.

But no matter which way it turns out, legalized sports gambling offers the insurance industry an excellent opportunity for a new product offering.  Insurers have a superb track record for responding to societal developments, and new technologies, with products designed to transfer their associated risks.  Most recently, think cyber.

Of course sports gambling comes with an obvious and inherent risk.  But what about all of the other risks, besides simply losing, that participants can encounter.  For those willing to risk being on the wrong side of a wager -- but not more -- the insurance industry will now be able to take these added worries off the table.   

Introducing the new Gambler’s Protection Policy.  The policy will provide coverage in all of the following scenarios:  

  • Insured, in a rush to get a bet off before kick-off, mistakenly clicks the wrong box and wagers on the Cleveland Browns.  Policy will pay one half of the losing wager, up to the Cleveland Browns sublimit.   
  • Insured wagers on a college football team and a player on the starting roster is subsequently ruled ineligible for the game, on account of losing his amateur status, after accepting a piece of Double Bubble from a fan.  Policy pays a losing wager if the insured would have won based on the game-time point spread.
  • Insured caught checking the score of a wagered-game, while at his wife’s co-worker’s engagement party.  Policy pays for two nights hotel accommodations if insured not allowed to return home.     
  • Insured loses a wager after the opposing team runs a trick play that is shown on Sports Center more than five times in a twelve hour period.  Policy pays for three large bottles of Pepto-Bismol.       
  • Insured bets on his college alma mater’s football team despite knowing that it’s the dumbest bet in the world.  Insurer pays the wager if the company’s Dumbest Bet Committee concludes that it was the dumbest bet in the world.
  • Insured destroys the television, after throwing the remote control at it, when the team he wagered on takes a knee at the end of the game, within the opponent’s five yard line, when a touchdown would have enabled his team to cover the spread.  Policy pays – one time -- for the cost to replace the television. 
  • Insured spends eleven hours completing his NCAA Tournament bracket for the office pool and finishes behind Mabel in the H.R. Department, who thought that Xavier was spelled with a Z.  Policy reimburses the cost of the pool entry fee.  Cost of losing your dignity is excluded.                
  • Insured chokes to death on a chicken wing.  Policy pays $250,000 upon proof that the insured had an active wager at the time of death.
Insured, while staring at his smart phone, walks into an intersection and is struck and killed by a motorist.  Policy pays $250,000 upon proof that the insured was checking the score of a wagered-game at the time of death.


That’s my time. I’m Randy Spencer. Contact Randy Spencer at

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