A couple nights ago if you were up late watching ESPN's "Outside the Lines" with Bob Ley you saw them discussing athletes and gambling. Clearly due to the Daly and Barkley factor this week. During the show there was a phone number for people to call with a gambling problem if they needed help.
If there's a phone number shown anywhere on television or the movies someone out there is going to call it. That's what one person did on a gambling message forum I frequent. He saw the show at a bar and was having a good time. So what the hell he was going to give it a call.
Then number shown, (732) 774-0019, was for gambling addiction expert Arnie Wexler (above). At first it gave him another phone number to call. He calls that and gets another message. So he tries the original phone number again. Finally someone answers. Here is a transcript of how the conversation went.
Me: Is this the gambling hotline?
A: Ya, what do you want?
Me: Well I have a problem with gambling
A: Ya, what is your problem?
Me: Well see I had the over in the cubbies tonight and those bastards did not make it
A: ya, and????
Me: Well I am sure there is a soccer game or something that I can bet on and try to get my money back on and I was wondering who you liked?
A: Listen asshole, I am calling the FBI and reporting you.
Me: For what?
A: Illegal betting
Me: So what this some sort of sting?
A: ya, and you are going to jail.
Me: I am not betting illegally.
A: well you are not in vegas, so it is illegal
Me: But I am in Vegas
A: Ya, you are calling me from area code 239 and that is not vegas
Me: Ever hear of a cell phone moron?
Arnie: You will be arrested tomorrow
Hangs up on me
I proceeded to call back about 30 times and most of the conversations were about how I was going to be arrested and bullshit like that. I made sure he had my right name and number so that there would be no confusion and here I am and not a phone call from anyone yet.
I cannot believe ESPN gave out a number of this CLOWN!
Arnie also has a website providing help for people with gambling addictions. On there it says , "Arnie is one of the foremost experts on compulsive gambling in this country, and has been involved in helping compulsive gamblers for over 30 years." Not sure what part "Listen asshole, I am calling the FBI and reporting you" would lead you to believe he was an expert. Even from the beginning there was a lack of sympathy and wanting to help. Presumably this was not the first phone call he got after the show aired.
If you're going to allow ESPN to plaster you phone number on their show, be prepared for lunatics to call you. If you're ESPN figure out what kind of lunatics phone number you're putting on your show.
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