On Monday the United States Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA). This law stood in place since 1992 which essentially limited open sports betting to Nevada. Although sports gambling has been an open secret on the Internet and anywhere people dared to defy the law, it has been illegal outside of Las Vegas sports books. But after SCOTUS’ decision, everyone is scrambling to find a way to get a piece of this multi-billion dollar enterprise. Here are five entities that are sure to benefit from gaming expansion.
While “The Shield” has been the biggest opponent of sports gambling, it also will be the one to benefit the most from the potential financial windfall that’s sure to come. Once every state officially has a sports betting operation, the most bets for sure will be for NFL games on Sundays. And with bets going up, television and radio ratings will go up as people will be anxious to see how their wager turned out. Ticket sales figure to rise and merchandise sales could get a bump as well. Not to mention the potential for sponsorships with sports gaming operations. (Trust me, this will happen). It seems that the Raiders are moving to Las Vegas at the perfect time.
Every year the Vegas books love offering odds on which team will win the NBA title, MVP, be the next No. 1 overall draft pick, etc. Now imagine being able to do that in your home state. The NBA playoffs also are a huge event for the sports books. Rest assured the league will find a way to cash in whether it be through ticket and merchandise sales, radio and television ratings, advertising and/or sponsorships.
3. College sports
I’m specifically referring to college football and basketball on this one. Residents of Chicago who bet on sports would have loved to have wagered some money on the hometown Loyola Ramblers during their Final Four run earlier this year. And I’m sure there are some Alabama Crimson Tide fans who’d have some more money in their bank accounts had they been able to wager on the last few national championships. Now the stage is seemingly set for all of this is to be possible. Expect there to be plenty of money moving around during both the 2019 College Football Playoff and the 2019 NCAA Tournament. And I’m sure the NCAA will find a sponsorship or two so they can profit from as well.
4. Combat sports
The gambling industry is the biggest reason why the majority of boxing and mixed martial arts events are held in Las Vegas. But with PASPA now dissolved, expect to see more MMA fights in New York (where it was banned until 2016); or perhaps more major boxing cards in cities like Chicago, Miami, Dallas or San Diego to name a few. As states become friendlier to sports gambling, combat sports will expand their horizons.
5. Olympic and international competitions
While The Olympics (summer and winter), the FIFA World Cup, and the FIBA World Cup, among others, are held in four-year cycles, people do wager on them from time to time. I’d bet my own money that there are quite a few people in this country who would love to put some money down on Team USA. (Although that’s not even an option for this year’s World Cup.) Or perhaps place a friendly wager on their favorite international soccer team in June. Either way, expect this trend to become more prevalent as sports betting goes nationwide.
— Gabe Salgado is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. He’s also written for NBC, Fox, The Sporting News, The Sports Journal, The Undefeated and Complex. He’s a co-host of The Rewind Sports: 60. Follow him on Twitter @GabeSalgado82.