Many sports gamblers are wondering when sports betting will be legal in the United States. While it is currently against the law to wager on sporting events, that could all change in the near future.
The tide is turning in favor of legal sports gambling. The last few years have seen an increase in states either passing or attempting to pass legislation that would regulate and legalize sports betting. If current trends continue, then within the next few years, we could see a wave of states legalizing sports gambling.
Will The NCAA Allow For Sports Betting?
The NCAA is a national governing body for collegiate sports in the United States. Like other sporting organizations, the NCAA prohibits its members from acting in contravention of the law. However, like many other governing bodies, the NCAA has gotten “creative” in interpreting the rules and trying to find ways around them. They have, for instance, allowed for financial aid to be provided for a player’s education, even if the player then goes on to sign with a professional sports team.
Many believe that with the right legislation and some creative legal interpretation, the NCAA could legalize sports betting. In fact, recently the NCAA passed a resolution stating that it is in favor of legalizing sports betting, provided that it is controlled and regulated.
What About The MLB?
Major League Baseball is the governing body for the American League and the National League. It also manages the men’s professional baseball leagues in the United States. Like the NCAA, the MLB prohibits its members from acting in contravention of the law. However, as with the NCAA, the MLB has also seen the benefits of sports betting and has tried to get on the legal side of things as well.
MLB has kept a relatively quiet stance on the issue, as it continues to try and balance the desire to regulate sports betting with the need to keep its illegal activities a secret. The truth is that MLB has a vested interest in seeing sports betting legalized, as it could lead to more people wagering on its games, and it could also generate more revenue for the league.
Will NFL Players Agree To A Legalized Betting Market?
The National Football League is, as previously mentioned, the governing body that oversees American football. Like other professional sports leagues, the NFL has also tried to cash in on the legal betting craze that has been sweeping over Europe and Asia. And like those sports leagues, the NFL is probably going to be one of the bigger sports organizations to accept the idea of legal football betting.
When it comes to legalizing sports betting, the NFL has been relatively reserved, as it wants to make sure that any potential legislation takes into consideration the needs of the league. However, recently the NFL did sign a multi-year agreement with Bet365, a European sportsbook, that will see them collaborate on the development of new NFL betting products, as well as providing information to each other regarding betting trends.
Will The NHL And NBA Players Agree To A Legalized Betting Market?
The National Hockey League and the National Basketball Association are the two other major professional sports organizations in the United States. Like their Major League Baseball and National Football League counterparts, the NHL and the NBA have also gotten in on the legal betting action, as they too see the benefits of legal sports betting. However, like the other major sports leagues, the NHL and the NBA want to make sure that any potential legislation takes their interests into consideration.
Although the two professional sports organizations have tried to keep a low profile on the issue, it is safe to assume that like the other major sports leagues, the NHL and the NBA will also eventually legalize sports betting.
Which College Sports Are Legalizing Sports Betting?
Since the turn of the century, there has been a wave of states, including New York, passing legislation to allow for sports betting. However, it was in the early 2010s that the trend really took off, as more and more states began to see the benefits of legal sports betting.
The early 2010s saw a rise in the number of states that legalized some form of sports betting, with a record-breaking 21 states allowing for some form of sports betting in 2011 and 2012. The floodgates opened in 2013, with a record-breaking 28 states legalizing some form of sports betting. In fact, prior to the 2018 season, 34 states and the District of Columbia had legalized sports betting.
Why Are So Many States Legalizing Sports Betting?
There are several reasons why so many states have decided to legalize sports betting. First, there is the simple fact that the industry generates a lot of revenue. Second, there is the desire to balance the books, as many states are dealing with severe budgetary shortfalls. Third, many states, including New York, see a way to generate additional tax revenue. Finally, like many other industries, the sports betting industry provides a way for underdogs to achieve something. In fact, many see the legalization of sports betting as a way of providing more opportunities to people, particularly people of color, who might otherwise be barred from legal gambling. That sentiment was echoed by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who said, “I believe, without question, that legalizing sports betting will provide even more opportunities to people who would have otherwise been denied the chance to compete and succeed.”
What About Prizecrafting And Fixed Matchmaking?
Many professional and semi-professional sports leagues have adopted a policy of prohibiting gambling, with the stated rationale being to keep things fair for the players. However, as with so many things in life, the lines tend to blur when it comes to what is feasible and what is ethical. For instance, what is more ethical – asking a handicapper to make a prediction on the game, or going into the wagering pool and risking your own money?
Many professional sports leagues have, in fact, found ways around the legal restrictions and prohibitions, with many openly embracing gambling, fixed matches, and prizecrafting. The latter two practices, which are effectively the same as “fixed” sports betting, have been widely used for decades and were first approved and regulated in the United States by the Professional Football Rules Committee back in 1966.
Prior to the NFL becoming a member of the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (“IFHA”), it tried to ban fixed matches in any form. However, that restriction was eventually struck down by a court, and the NFL was forced to allow for fixed matches.
Prizecrafting, or picking winning races, has been around for much longer and was first established in Great Britain back in 1662. It has become a way of life in Europe and was made legal in France in 1882. In the United States, prior to the early 20th century, it was common practice for horse breeders to engage in “prizefighting”, with the idea being that the best horses would out-race each other, thus increasing the profit for the owner. Since then, it has mostly remained a way for horse racing enthusiasts to make a few extra bucks, with fixed matches, gambling, and sports wagering now providing alternatives.
How Does The Future Of Legal Sports Betting Look?
These are exciting times for sports bettors, with more and more states embracing the idea of legal sports betting and providing a fresh wave of opportunity.
While many states, including New York, have already made significant strides, there is still a lot of work to be done. There are concerns that the industry could be swept away by the “black market” if the legal alternatives aren’t available, or at least easily accessible. In 2022, there are efforts underway in several US states to legalize sports betting, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see more states follow suit.