How bad does your addiction to gambling have to be to cause you to wager money on youth football played by kids not yet in high school?
Pretty bad, there it would seem, and cops in Broward County (FLA) even have surveillance video showing parents exchanging money in the stands while watching their kids’ play. And it wasn’t just parents putting money on the games: coaches may also have been involved, making you wonder if they ever played kids who were hurt, or pulled healthy kids from games to intentionally lose. And we’re not talking about a couple of bucks or a wager for beer: investigators believe the wagering on games topped $100,000 for a championship game.
Amazing video below, but first, more on the story from the Huffington Post:
Coaches routinely met before games and set point spreads, investigators said, but they do not believe the games were thrown or that coaches encouraged players not to complete a touchdown in order to control the outcome. Authorities said they had no evidence that the players were aware of the bets.
“It’s about kids being exploited unfortunately by greedy parents and greedy grown-ups and coaches who were basically nothing more than criminals,” Sheriff Al Lamberti said.
After months of surveillance, digging through trash cans and raiding two gambling houses, authorities arrested alleged ringleader Brandon Bivins, known as ‘Coach B’ in the community, charging him with felony bookmaking and keeping a gambling house. Eight others were also charged Monday with bookmaking and some were charged with keeping a gambling house.