What happens in Vegas can now happen elsewhere
Welcome to the New World, sports fans.
The Supreme Court’s ruling Monday that in essence will allow states to individually decide whether to legalize sports gambling or not is likely the biggest change for the sports world since the Supreme Court ruled against Curt Flood in 1972 in his attempt to overturn baseball’s antitrust exemption.
Without getting into legalese, that rule may have prevented Flood from becoming a free agent but left enough wiggle room that helped create free agency a few years later.
The result: Salaries escalated, and the money you could use to buy five tickets to, say, a Red Sox game back in the 1970s and into the 80s may not even be enough to buy one today.
Expect that number/price likely to go up, up, up. The money will be all over the place. Think about, depending on what laws are passed, the ease of placing a legal sports bet with your smartphone.
What this ruling does is leave sports gambling up to the states. State legislatures can now pass laws approving it, whereas before it was only legal in Nevada.
Now, purely a guess – it’s likely New Hampshire isn’t going to get involved, at least not right now; the state continuously shoots down legislation for casinos, etc.
But Massachusetts, with all the casinos cropping up, will be the place for people around here to place their bets. The value of sports franchises will increase.
Don’t be fooled; sports leagues and teams will try to find a way to profit from this. The NFL already issued a statement on Monday in which “We intend to call on Congress again, this time to enact a core regulartory framework for legalized sports betting. We will also work close with our clubs to ensure that any state efforts that move forward in the meantime protect our fans and the integrity of our game.”
And, they probably should have added, “and that we get a piece of the action.” According to ESPN, pro sports leagues will likely want a percentage of what is bet on games, that money provided by the sports book vendors.
Now that it will be legal, of course.
Some areas/states will embrace this wholeheartedly. New Jersey is all set to go, basically saying it will be up and running in the sports betting business in couple of weeks; the feeling is it wants this done for the NBA Finals.
According to the New York Post, Monmouth (N.J.) Park is looking to begin taking sports bets on May 28. It even had a story on line estimating Uber prices to get there from NYC.
Other states said to have been well-prepared for this decision as opposed to others, according to internet reports, are Connecticut, Delaware, Mississippi, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
The target date for a lot of states who have already had been working on legislation to propose sports gambling will more than likey be the start of the NFL season.
And don’t forget the on-line sports wagering companies like DraftKings, etc. They will all want to get into the act.
Remember, this will all vary from state to state; states will propose their own legislation. Some states won’t have legalized sports betting and just a guess, New Hampshire’s track record suggests it would be one of those.
But the money will be everywhere. The popularity of sports will be even more than before, so values of that seat you’re sitting in go up. Of course, sports bettting has been a national pastime for ages, it’s just that after all the red tape is cleared it will become that much easier. The ramifications are many.
Bottom line: What happens in Vegas no longer legally has to stay in Vegas.
Good thing? Bad thing?
Like free agency, only time will tell.
But it’s definitely going to be a money thing.
Tom King can be reached at 594-1251, firstname.lastname@example.org., or @Telegraph_TomK.