At the sportsbook with the Bills: A game was won, and bets were mostly lost

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. — The words are delivered with gravitas before every NFL game, an official preamble for what we journalists are about to observe.

We are told where each public relations staffer will sit, which players have been deactivated and any roster changes along with a weather forecast. Then comes a directive that underscores the integrity of our workspace:

“Please remember this is a working press box,” intones the press box public-address announcer, Brendan McDaniels, at Buffalo Bills home games. “NFL regulations prohibit cheering of any kind. Thank you for your cooperation.”

No such decorum exists where the lights twinkle, roulette wheels whirl and slot machines bloop-a-doop. Casinos are designed to uncork your dopamine spigot. Positive emotional outbursts are encouraged, but those reactions don’t happen without risk, drama, a coda, money in the balance.

Dispassionate observers are not wanted…

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