Sports betting and the future of professional sports

John Laforest
Staff Writer

The Supreme Court ruling in favor of sports betting May 14, 2018 in states other Nevada has changed the way we look at sports.

Sports Betting has been going on for years whether legally in Las Vegas, or illegally in a Minnesota. The NFL, NBA, MLB as well as other professional sports, after the ruling, want to ensure all goes well.

The NFL Players’ Association also released a statement Monday afternoon after the ruling.

According to USA today the NFL said, “The Supreme Court’s decision today reaffirms our decision to collaborate with the other sports unions on the issues of player safety, integrity of our games and privacy and publicity rights,” the statement reads. “Our union will monitor developments closely and address the implications of this decision with the NFL, state legislators and other relevant stakeholders.”

The justices ruled 7-2 that a 25-year-old federal law that has effectively prohibited sports betting outside Nevada by forcing states to keep prohibitions on the books is unconstitutional. The ruling could set the stage for other states to expand legalized gambling as a source of government revenue.

Sports gambling in the U.S. is about to be bigger, better and simply a part of our lives in ways it wasn’t before. While that doesn’t mean anyone will compel you to put $20 down in order to consume a game, nobody in America isn’t going to make the sports betting world to feel like criminals anymore.

Before the action, some forward-thinking leagues like the NBA thought they would be in position to capitalize on it. Others, like the often-backwards NCAA, could struggle to embrace it and miss out on a remarkable opportunity to increase their fan base and make loads of cash.

For a niche sport like horse racing, the opportunity to host a sports book is a potential game-changer that could bring people back to the track in large numbers.

According to the awful announcement, as of Nov. 21, 2018, the NBA ratings are down 26 percent on stations such as TNT and down six percent on ESPN. This could be contributed to the game’s biggest star, LeBron James, going to play in Los Angeles when he plays when many of us in different time zones are asleep. This is certainly not the vision the league had when the supreme court passed this law.

Adam Silver said, “Today’s decision by the Supreme Court opens the door for states to pass laws legalizing sports betting. 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.”

According to The Washington Post, five states have cleared the way for sports books, and more than 20 others, plus the District, are debating legislation and could start taking bets in the coming year or two. As sports gambling becomes more popular, it will become increasingly folded into the fabric of the games Americans love to watch.

It’s potentially a booming business that could bolster teams and leagues while changing the way even nongamblers engage with the action. This has and will become less a game of chance with fans relying less on gut feelings for bet s and more analytics to gamble. If Leonsis’s vision proves true, it will transform arenas, intellectualize the games and beef up the statistics and data used in each sport.

Feature photo courtesy of the Associated Press.

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