The United States Supreme Court allowed individual states to decide on whether to legalize sports wagering. MLB and others are ready to cash in.
By a 7-2 decision, the United States Supreme Court Monday paved the way for individual states to legalize wagering on sports in other states besides Nevada. Considered a win for states like New Jersey, MLB and the other major pro leagues stand to make millions.
But, gambling is a double-edged sword for Major League Baseball. For decades, some of the greatest crises of the sport came from gambling rings. From the 1919 Chicago White Sox—who allegedly threw the World Series—to Pete Rose, MLB has battled questions on the integrity of the game.
The Court’s decision does not make wagering legal but gives states the say on if they allow sports books. New Jersey, and former Governor Chris Christie, pushed for regulated gaming and lost in the lower courts. It remains illegal there until a new law is passed.
Although the big four North American sports are not thrilled on the surface, two considerations make whatever lip service protests moot. With the huge growth of sanctioned daily fantasy games, the leagues already encourage you to bet on performances. As with horse racing, you are wagering.
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You spend money hoping to get more. This is not the stock market where an underperformer can eventually break even. You are out on your current wager of Mike Trout whiffs four times or Max Scherzer surrenders a grand slam and loses.
MLB and the others, especially the NFL and NBA, will rake cash in by the wheelbarrow. Deals will get cut piecing the leagues and teams in the action. Because online will be a needed feature, you the fan can place a bet and watch in real time. If the New York Yankees cannot cover, sorry.
The United Kingdom and Europe, along with large pockets of the world, have legalized and regulated sports betting. It is common to drop a small wager before a soccer match. Some fields update the odds on the field signage boards during the game itself.
Yes, gambling is a vice and leads to addiction sometimes. But, illegal betting happens all the time. In most states that $10 NCAA Men’s Basketball bracket you filled out at the office or bar is illegal. Those Super Bowl squares, same thing.
Allowing gambling on games will increase interest to a degree. When the finances are sorted out between the states, leagues and player unions, the mass marketing campaign figures to be huge. Not a Boston Red Sox fan? Get cash watching them lose.
After the Supreme Court decision, MLB and the others thank you for your money, win or lose.