States Race To Launch Sports Betting, But May Need To Slow Their Roll

With the dust starting to settle a bit from the Supreme Court’s monumental decision to enable states the choice to legalize sports gambling, there is still much unknown about how to move forward.

The Supreme Court failed to specify if the sports betting landscape would be subject to federal regulation or if it would be up to each state to regulate.

Both the NFL and the NBA called upon Congress to put a framework in place for states to follow and give order to a process that could easily spin out of control with little regulation. The common denominator with all the major sports leagues is concern for the “integrity of the game.”

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, whose league is enjoying a great playoff season and is currently in their Conference Finals, gave the following statement, “We remain in favor of a federal framework that would provide a uniform approach to sports gambling in states that choose to permit it, but we will remain active in ongoing discussions with state legislatures. Regardless of the particulars of any future sports betting law, the integrity of the game remains our highest priority.”

States looking to move quickly

Delaware is hoping to be among the first states to get sports gambling up and running. Being one of four states allowed to take bets on sports, Delaware has the infrastructure in place to make this happen in a matter of days. Currently taking parlay bets on professional football, the knowledge and know how enable Delaware to act quickly and confidently to bring a great product to consumers.

New Jersey has been fighting the state level sports betting ban for several years. Monmouth Park, a horse racing track, has full intentions of taking bets in the next couple weeks “unless someone stops us”.

New York, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Mississippi are among the favorites to be in the best position to get a sports betting system up and running sooner than later.

New opportunities for betters

Sports betting has a ‘shady’ moniker as a great deal of the time bets are taken on an untrusted website, off-shore accounts, or in a ‘secret location’ run by the local bookie. While this will not disappear, sports betters can have more assurance that they will get paid if they win and be on a level playing field with other betters.

The convenience of placing bets at casinos, racetracks, convenience stores, and Daily Fantasy sites will be a welcome benefit. With companies such as DraftKings already preparing to take bets on sporting events and emailing consumers telling them sports betting is on the way, expect more businesses, state lotteries, and other entities to follow suit.

It will take longer for the professional leagues, NFL, NBA, and MLB for example, to open themselves to the changing landscape of sports betting. But when they do, think of the new possibilities a fan will have:

It’s the bottom of the 7th and the home team is losing by 10 runs. Usually a fan thinks about leaving to beat the traffic or isn’t emotionally invested in the game anymore. Looking at the scoreboard, the fan notices the teams slugger is coming up. Taking a quick look at the stadiums app for prop bets, the fan decides to bet that the slugger will hit a homerun in the upcoming at bat.. Suddenly, it’s a whole new ballgame.

States and consumers need to temper expectations

While this is an exciting time for sports betting consumers and potentially a great revenue steam for states, the situation is still very fluid. Professional leagues want regulation and structure, state’s with opposing elected officials will face barriers, and expect states that are gung ho about starting betting to come down off the ‘decision high’ and think about how to move forward both economically and strategically.

Once it’s decided which level of government will regulate the sports betting industry, federal or state, the groundwork can begin for a stable base to withstand the winds of change that will undoubtedly start to erode the sports betting landscape as we know it today.

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