How legalizing sports betting will impact the $4.8B industry

@bestthehouse via Facebook

In a historic ruling, the Supreme Court allowed for states to legalize sports betting this past Monday, May 21.

In a 6-3 ruling, the Supreme Court voted for New Jersey and other states to authorize sports betting. Many consider this a step in the right direction despite it possibly hurting the integrity of the respective sport.

An act created in 1992 known as the federal Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), fought against states legalizing sports betting. This debate lasted for two decades, until six years ago, when the former New Jersey Governor, Chris Christie, signed a law to allow Nevada sports gambling.

American sports organizations – NCAA, NFL, NBA, NHL and Major League Baseball – sued against this plan proposed by the governor, and it just recently went for review by the Supreme Court. Oral arguments were heard December 4, and the justices ruled five months later.

Sports gambling is nothing new, and many point to the underground betting system that has ran for decades. One of the biggest sports scandals involving gambling dealt with the New Orleans Saints creating a bounty system that rewarded players in cash for knocking opposing players out of games from 2009 to 2011. This is just one example of what tarnished the integrity of professional sports for some time. It is estimated that underground gambling is a multibillion dollar industry that leads to corruption.

Now that the smoke has cleared, much praise has come since the Supreme Court ruling.

Dallas Maverick owner, Mark Cuban, is quoted as saying that the legalization of sports gambling will “double the value of professional sports franchises in a second. It will increase interests, it will add to what happens in are arenas and stadiums, it will increase viewership for our biggest customers online and on T.V., and I think it helps traditional television”.

With the act struck down, the Supreme Court has potentially opened up a $4.8B industry. ESPN repots that a record $4.8 billion was wagered at Nevada sportsbooks in 2017. Shares in various casinos groups and hotels have already rose. Caesars Entertainment Corp. shares increased by 7.1 percent, and MGM Resorts International rose by almost 3.5 percent just to name a few.

Now that the proverbial brass band has sounded the trumpet, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Mississippi and Connecticut will likely be the first to take bets in their own backyards.

We’re in the midst of NBA Finals. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver released a statement following the ruling which makes way for a “uniform approach.” He says in a statement, “We remain in favor of a federal framework that would provide a uniform approach to sports gambling in states that choose to permit it, but we will remain active in ongoing discussions with state legislatures. Regardless of the particulars of any future sports betting law, the integrity of our game remains our highest priority.”

Following the ruling, Major League Baseball issued a statement citing the “most important priority is protecting the integrity of our games.” And adding, “We will continue to support legislation that creates air-tight coordination and partnerships between the state, the casino operators and the governing bodies in sports toward that goal.”

“We will continue to support legislation that creates air-tight coordination and partnerships between the state, the casino operators and the governing bodies in sports toward that goal.”

It is evident that the sports world has entered a new era. An enormous amount of revenue is expected to come in the future, but will it backfire and lead to more greed?

Joshua Crump
Joshua Crump

Joshua Crump is a graduate of Georgia Southern University and journalist based in Atlanta.

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