Tuesday, 15 May 2018

This is how big the Supreme Court’s landmark decision on sports wagering will be in America

If someone offers you a bet on how significant of an impact the legalization of sports wagering will be on not just the games America plays and watches, but the entire business of sports … take the over.

On Monday the United States Supreme Court ruled 6-3 to strike down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), a 25-year-old law that effectively limited sports gambling to the state of Nevada. The case was brought by former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who argued against the NCAA and four professional sports leagues, not to mention both the Obama and Trump administrations, that PASPA was unconstitutional.

Christie was proven correct.

So, what changes now?

NBA commissioner Adam Silver has been
bullish on his league’s place in the betting market. (AP)
The sports betting industry is expected to change dramatically after the Supreme Court’s ruling on Monday. (AP)

Ten other states, including major markets California, Illinois and Michigan, are considering or have considered legislation in the past year. Those can be revived, rewritten and passed based on legislative schedules.

What’s undeniable is that there is a massive public thirst to gamble. In 2017, the American Gambling Association reports sports wagering hit a record $4.9 billion in Nevada alone. People living everywhere else have been forced to wager exponentially more than that through local bookmakers, often linked to organized crime, or, of late, offshore sites via the Internet that offer no consumer protections.

Neither, of course, provides tax revenue or a cut to the leagues themselves.

And the leagues want in. This is a watershed day for all of them, and not simply if they can negotiate a cut of revenue under the premise that they need an “integrity fee” to staff up monitoring and enforcement of their contests.

The NBA has already proposed a 1 percent fee. If that’s an opening salvo, then it’ll likely get less, but it’s still a ton. In West Virginia, one proposal had a cut of every wager earmarked as an “integrity fee” for West Virginia University and Marshall, potential windfalls that could help reshape college athletics despite the NCAA’s vehement defense of PASPA.

It’s the axillary money that will rain down and, in some cases, already has.

“I think everyone who owns a top-four professional sports team just saw the value of their team double,” Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban told CNBC Monday morning.

Source: Yahoo Sports /  Dan Wetzel

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