The Supreme Court ended a six year legal battle ruling against the NCAA, NBA, NHL, NFL, and MLB in favor of New Jersey to allow states to legalize betting on sports. SCOTUS ruled against a 1992 law that banned state-authorized sports betting “with some exceptions.” Thus making Nevada the only state where bets on single games could be placed and in 2017 Nevada recorded $4.8 billion in wages placed.
So really this in a win-win for states that want in on the action because of the financial benefits that they will reap by allowing residents to bet on sports. ESPN reported that states that allow sports betting will in the beginning only allow for bets to be placed at brick-and-mortar establishments while they figure out a way to offer mobile betting. I would imagine that Nevada will be in high demand for states to learn how to handle the sports betting landscape.
While this is great news for states that wanted in on the action like New Jersey, the major leagues are finding themselves in uncharted territory. Previously, the NFL had been against sport betting because they wanted to preserve the integrity of their game (which is hilarious given that they have approved the Raiders moving to Vegas the previous hub of sport gambling). It’s going to be interesting to see how if the league’s embrace the ruling and what effects it could have on the game. I’m having flashbacks to the 30-for-30 “Playing for the Mob”, where players were threatened to throw games so the Mobsters could win big money. Also if you’ve seen “One Tree Hill” there was a story-line where one of the main characters had to throw some games for a guy to win money, but I digress.
Ultimately, I think this is a good move for the states because it gives them an opportunity to get in on the action that comes from sports gambling, which could have great benefits if used correctly (like playing teachers the kind of money they deserve). This decision will also force the major leagues to take a deep hard look at their current policies and make improvements where necessary and establish clear cut punishments for those that break the policies (and there will be at least a few people that try to cheat the system, that’s just human nature).
Plus who knows maybe this will pave the way for one teams to join the successful Golden Knights in Vegas.