Reagan Yates ‘19
Last May, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of terminating the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), and the court’s decision now allows every U.S. state the option to legalize sports betting. Also, states could now tax and regulate the 150+ billion dollars a year that is illegally betted on sports.
Since the legal decision, eight states have legalized sports betting: Nevada, Delaware, New Jersey, Mississippi, West Virginia, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island. But that’s just the beginning — another approximately 30 states, including Maryland, have introduced a bill to legalize sports betting.
States are slowly introducing this change by setting up specific locations in casinos for fans to bet. Already, legal apps and websites are slowly being released that allow fans to bet while a game is going on, from the comfort of their home. Last summer, the mobile app Draftkings Sportsbook went live, which allowed anyone older than 21 and living in New Jersey to legally bet online on sports.
ESPN is joining in on the fun, too. Its new show “Daily Wager” debuted March 11 and is dedicated entirely to sports betting. The show’s host, Doug Kezirian, explained in an article for the Hartford Courant that “the key for us is to … serve the sports fan. We’ve realized that the sports fan has an appetite for sports-betting content.”
While many states quickly are making their way towards legalization only a year following the Supreme Court decision, there is some concern whether all the betting activity will lead to corruption at the collegiate level, specifically.
College athletes are unpaid for their sport, making them the potential targets for gamblers trying to win a bet. Say someone offers a college athlete hundreds, maybe even thousands, of dollars to throw a game. Considering the student-athlete makes no money (and has no time for a job), they might seriously consider doing it.
David Suggs Jr., a professor of sports media at University of Georgia, emphasized in his article for ‘Inside Higher Ed’ that, “college sports are a special kind of activity that should enjoy some protection from the marketplace.”
Either way, legalized better definitely will affect how sports are followed and watched forever. Young kids could start being more interested in sports because of the betting aspect, not for the actual love of the game.