USA opens gates for sports betting

Aaron Brown
May 15, 2018

"The Supreme Court's decision today may well pave the way for increased, widespread, legalized gambling on sports throughout the United States", the NHLPA said in a statement.

All four major US professional sports leagues and the NCAA also had urged the court to uphold the federal law, saying a gambling expansion would hurt the integrity of their games. We have more than 40 years of experience in sports betting, we operate one of the largest sports book networks in the state of Nevada, and by the end of the year we expect to have operations in 10 different states.

But lawmakers already are thinking about it. House Assistant Majority Leader Alec Garnett, D-Denver, tweeted Monday: "Pulled the bill title to explore Colorado solution to legalized sports betting".

On one hand, lawmakers might want as much money as possible for the state budget. At $1.4 billion, Pennsylvania is the No. 1 state in tax revenue from casino gambling.

"The odds, excuse the pun, are against passing something by the scheduled adjournment date", said state Rep.

Research firm Eilers & Krejcik Gaming last year predicted that 32 states - including NY - would likely offer sports betting within five years of getting permission.

Former Gov. Chris Christie, who initially led New Jersey's lawsuit against the NCAA that led to PASPA being invalidated, sees it as a windfall of "hundreds of millions of dollars a year" in tax revenue for the Garden State.

Sheridan recalled meeting a Big Apple bookie who in 1980 was raking in $250,000 a year just from "parlay cards", which offer bigger payouts to gamblers willing to bet on two or more teams.

The same values that say we Texans allow betting on horses, bingo, raffles at pro games or the random selection of numbers in the lottery, but nothing else. The online service would be limited to IL residents.

If single-game betting were to be legalized, there would be a need to protect sports from corrupting influences, he noted. "Why should Coloradans have to travel to Vegas to bet on #Broncos winning #SBLIII?"

"I hope the leadership in this state will realize that some states have become addicts to gambling themselves", Mr. Walgate said.

"I have to think that a private business is going to look at potentially expanding into an area of business that is not now being offered in the market", Mr. McColley said.

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The National Council on Problem Gambling says the high court ruling offers the largest potential expansion of gambling in USA history, and predicts many more people will develop gambling problems or worsen existing ones unless steps are taken to minimize risks. I believe in local control.

In Houston, basketball fans arriving at the Toyota Center to see the Rockets take on the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Finals said they would consider betting on games for the first time if it were legal. "The bigger the thing the easier it is to fix something", Hill said. One exception is DE, said Daniel Wallach, a sports gaming law expert and attorney at Becker & Poliakof, noting that the state already as infrastructure in place and doesn't require any legislative tweaks.

As an example, Swoik cited the law that allowed video gambling, originally sold as a way to help existing bars, restaurants and charitable organizations.

"Obviously it's going to be something that many people in New Mexico want to do, it's something that they do already", McCamley said.

The iGaming industry stakeholder consultant's concerns point in the direction of continued friction between commercial, tribal and league interests on the sensitive topic of sports betting legislation.

Republican Senator Orrin Hatch said he would introduce legislation to "establish fundamental standards for sports betting" and allow states to decide whether or not to legalize it.

Bottom line: What happens in Vegas no longer legally has to stay in Vegas.

Then there are the estimates of illegal wagering far outpacing legal wagering in this country.

"With people having computers and cellphones, if they could bet anywhere 24 hours a day, it would be nonstop gambling", she said.

In September, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sided with New Jersey in a 21-state brief on the case, arguing that PAPSA "impermissibly skews the federal-state balance" of power.

"It's hard to speculate what impact the US decision may have, but it may stimulate interest on the topic of single event sports betting in Canada", a spokesperson for the B.C. Lottery Corporation said in an email.

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