How the NBA, NFL figure to win with Legal Sports Betting
For decades, major professional sports leagues and the NCAA have been opposed to legal sports betting in the United States. Only four states are grandfathered into a law that prohibits sports betting, and Nevada is the only one of these states that actually offers sportsbooks.
But New Jersey is really pushing the matter, with Governor Chris Christie issuing a directive that casinos and racetracks in his state can begin offering sports bets. And once this happens, there’s a good chance that other places in the US will consider going against the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992.
So should we expect fierce challenges from American sports leagues? Maybe, however, attitudes could be lightening on the matter. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver believes that sports wagering will eventually spread throughout the US, so he’s more inclined to embrace the change, rather than fight it.
“Everybody knows here that if you have a gentlemen’s bet or a small wager on any kind of sports contest, it makes you that much more…engaged in it,” Silver said at a New York conference. “That’s where we’re going to see it pay dividends.”
Ever since the Black Sox scandal in the 1919 World Series, sports leagues have feared that betting would compromise their respective game results. Because Nevada isn’t home to any major pro sports franchises, the leagues aren’t as concerned with their sportsbooks. However, New Jersey is home to the NHL’s New Jersey Devils, and both the NFL’s New York Jets and New York Giants play their games in East Rutherford, NJ.
One organization that figures to still be staunchly opposed to sports betting, no matter what, is the NCAA. Since their athletes don’t get paid – yet sports wagering is still big in college sports – the NCAA will likely fear corruption in their games if betting is legal across the country.