US Supreme Court Legalizes Sports Betting

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Legalized Sports Betting

A group of "riverboat gamblers."

Well, it’s a huge day for legalized sports betting in the United States.  Many have been wondering when sports gambling would be allowed in the US.  We just got a whole lot closer.  Online sportsbooks look to not only be here to stay, but also about to explode.

Today, the Supreme Court stuck down a federal law that prohibited sports gambling on a national level, thus overriding state based laws.  To date, Nevada was the only state in the union where you are allowed to wager on Sports results of a single game’s outcome.

Players could risk it.  Several overseas books accept US based player action.  We have great reviews on the reliable ones here.  To date though, many players have been scared to place action on something that was previously “illegal.”

The topic has been a hot one of late.  We jokingly place Adam Silver in our sportsbook review page, but that’s because Silver has been one of the most outspoken advocates of legalized gambling in the USA.  Not only does Silver want gambling for the NBA online, he also wants gambling available in person in every state.  This is not too different from the UK where casinos can be found on virtually every street corner.

More and more commissioners have been forced into the topic based on moves of various teams.  The Oakland Raiders recently agreed to move to Las Vegas.  The Las Vegas Knights are already there in the T-Mobile center and they’re having a great season.  There’s been a lot of argument over whether the expansion draft was fixed in the NHL to gain exposure for popularity and thus betting in the market.

If there was a conspiracy there, we’ll certainly sacrifice Lord Stanley’s cup as a sacrifice for the practice to be legal.

The Sportsbook Legal Battle

The building where it all went down.

The supreme court ruled in favor of the state of New Jersey in a case that had been fought for the better part of 6 years.  The decision overturns the ruling of previous courts in which a 20 year old statue maintained that legalization was only available in Las Vegas.

This all started when the NCAA, NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB filed a lawsuit in August of 2012 against New Jersey Governor Christ Christie.   The State of New Jersey had voted for legalization of sports gambling on their ballot and Las Vegas and the sports leagues were all not happy with the fact that they wouldn’t be getting a piece of the action.  They sued to block the opportunity on revenue alone.  Apparently they felt you could not trust a man with not only two first names, but the SAME two first names.

They were right.  Christ Christie just busted a federal law that outlawed sports league wagering and the win will have some staggering impacts.  Here’s who wins the most.

Legalized State Gambling Winner #1 – The States

Legalized gambling will depend on which state you live in.

New Jersey, Deleware, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and New York are just a few states expected to jump in on the action of sports gambling, but there are now 49 states that must evaluate their position on sports wagering.  32 have already made verbal commitments to push for brick and mortar sports betting locations within 5 years of the rule changes.

One of the interesting things about the United States is the way it governs.  It’s unique in the concept of State’s rights.  When the civil war was fought, the US decided it wanted a system where several governing parties ruled and interreacted with each other on certain topics.  Some integral topics would be ruled on a federal level.  Other, lesser vital topics would be ruled on a state level.  That’s what gives us unique features by state.  You can drink on the streets in New Orleans for example.  Prostitution is technically legal in Las Vegas.

In a bigger sense, Marijuana has always been regulated on a federal level.  States have broken off that based on the Federal level stating openly it wouldn’t enforce the federal laws placed forth around it.  That has lead to legalized recreational cannabis in California, Washington, and Nevada

Gambling wasn’t as easy as weed for states, but they’ve clearly been in a taking mood lately with the success of pot.  The government already had proprietary agreements that made things more difficult in gambling.  The main one: Las Vegas (corruption at it’s finest, but that’s another story for another time).

Las Vegas owns the Sports Gambling industry.  In 2017 the sports gambling industry made Las Vegas a record 4.8 billion.   That’s money that they will have to share now.  That’s also money that is going to grow.

There will now be more access to sports gambling than ever.  It may take a year or two, but by 2020, many states will be set up for sports gambling online.

The federal level has always regulated sports gambling.  The Supreme Court decided to put that power back into the hands of the states and let them decide on their own. 

What a massive win for State’s rights.  What a massive win potentially for State’s that are cash strapped and want a revenue source.    

Legalized State Gambling Winner #2 – The Betting Customer

Gamblers should have a lot more options than simply going to their favorite casino or gaming room.

Well isn’t this awesome?  Depending on the state we live in and how hard headed a leader we have in it, we just got access to gambling 24/7 365.  Was this available to us already?  Yes…you should have checked out our Top sportsbook section a long time ago.  But this is still a very big day in that we’re now going to see the products we deserve.

We just went from shady to mainstream.  Forget about having to sneak around to gamble.  You will no longer be hesitant and neither will investors who are trying to make money in this space.  Sportsbook technology has been limited.  The parties willing to use their money on this type of venture were only based overseas.  What a shame.  Much of the best tech is based in the USA where this was illegal, until today.

5dimes, while we love it, is probably going to become obsolete.  Crappy interfaces and mobile rendering will now kill companies in this space.  Competition is going to be rampant.  If you don’t have a good deposit bonus or way to keep customers coming back, their will be new books always looking to capture your action.

The consumer is one of the biggest winners. 

Legalized State Gambling Winner #3 – The Networks

Disney has been having a down year. Perhaps it's time to invest in the parent company of ESPN?

You may have read recently.  ESPN is struggling.  The NFL declined year over year and they paid forward earnings type money on the TV contract with the assumption that growth would continue.  It especially declined with young viewers between the ages of 18-24 which isn’t a good look for growing a brand into the millennial era.

Legalized gambling just changed all of that.  Until today, 50.8% of consumers in the US like to watch the NFL on TV.  37.9% like to tune in for baseball.  With sports gambling, there is plenty of room for that number to increase. 

The NFL will probably see an increase, but the NBA, MLB, NHL, and leagues that have more consistent weekly schedules could really see a rise.  Don’t forget about the rights owners to March Madness and college sports.  CBS is a big winner in this too.

This may also be a win for packages like NBA League Pass, MLBTV, and NHL Center Ice which will give gamblers more access to their contests.

In addition, the networks will now be allowed to carry advertisements.  Once the states get their online setup figured out (big TBD), we expect to see something along the lines of William and Hill in the UK.  If you’ve ever been to the UK and popped on the TV, you’ll notice 50% of the advertisements are for gambling.  This means increased advertising revenue for sports networks.

We are going to be betting more.  We are going to want to watch our bets.  The networks win big here.

Conclusions

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The USA joins Canada, the United Kingdom, Australlia, France, and many others in the sports gambling realm.  With any luck, wagering will be available before the World Cup comes around next month.  We realize that’s a little soon, so if you’re looking to get in on the action, make sure to check out our top sportsbook picks.

In the mean time, stay tuned to LazyBets for free daily picks, travel news, and anything else related to the gambling industry.  We will be launching a new section that helps our readers decipher exactly what’s going on in their state.  Stay tuned for that.  Thanks for reading.  Congratulations on the great news.  Let’s crack one and enjoy Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals.