Sportsbooks Halt NBA Bets After Kobe Bryant’s Death

  • At least two sportsbooks stopped bets on Sunday as a mark of respect
  • Resorts Casino in Atlantic City and Circa Sports in Las Vegas tweeted announcement
  • Despite speculation, all Sunday NBA games went ahead as scheduled
Atlantic City’s Resorts Casino sportsbook and Circa Sports in Las Vegas stopped taking NBA bets on Sunday following the news of Kobe Bryant’s tragic demise. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

A show of respect

At least two sportsbook operators stopped accepting NBA bets on Sunday following the tragic news of Kobe Bryant’s death in a helicopter crash.

The Resorts Casino in Atlantic City and the Circa Sports offering in Las Vegas announced the turn of events online in a show of respect to the Los Angeles Lakers legend.

Bryant was deemed to be one of the best basketball players of all time. He was 41 years old when the helicopter he was traveling in crashed in Calabasas, California on Sunday morning. His 13-year-old daughter and seven other people also died in the accident. Bryant is survived by three daughters and his wife.

Sportsbooks make online announcements

Circa Sports took to Twitter to alert bettors that it would not be accepting NBA bets for the rest of the day. It said it would resume full operation Monday at 8am.

Circa Sports currently operates a sportsbook at two casinos in Las Vegas, the D and the Golden Gate. Its decision to postpone NBA wagers was met with praise from social media followers.

Shortly after, the Resorts Casino published a similar tweet saying:

we are paying our respects by closing all NBA markets for the evening – we will reopen these markets at 9am tomorrow morning.”

There was speculation that the Sunday games in the NBA might be canceled due to the news, but this was not the case.

A legend that lives on

Kobe Bryant was a five-time NBA champion with the Los Angeles Lakers, spending his entire 20 years as a basketball player with the team. During the span of his career, he was named an All-Star on 18 occasions. 

NBA commissioner Adam Silver spoke about Bryant’s death and his impact on the game. He said, “He will be remembered most for inspiring people around the world to pick up a basketball and compete to the very best of their ability.”