When we think of potential threats to integrity in sports, for many years the top two were performance-enhancing drugs and spying on opponents. Now, as of May 14, 2018, we have a new threat on the block. This was when the US Supreme Court reached a verdict to legalize gambling in sports, allowing the states to decide for themselves. Many say it jeopardized the game as athletes, officials, or coaches may be inclined to accept a bribe from a gambler to alter their performance.
Just look at the “Chicago Black Sox Scandal” where eight members of the White Sox intentionally lost the 1919 World Series in exchange for money from a gambler, or the Legend Pete Rose who was given a lifetime ban from MLB for betting on games during his time as a player and manager. Most recently, we have the scandal involving NBA referee Tim Donaghy who was betting on games he officiated from 2005-07. These scandals make fans weary that sports are no longer driven by competition, but rather entertainment as many are realizing the possibility that these games might be “fixed”.
Although we have to be careful that those involved in the game do not succumb to the dark temptations of impacting a game for their own benefit, we can not deny the revenue impact that this new market has created. Online betting channels such as DraftKings and FanDuel have driven this market forward. In the month of September alone, approximately $336 million was wagered on sports in New Jersey.
These two outlets brought 65 percent of that revenue, with DraftKings being number one, followed by FanDuel in second. Recently, the commissioner of the NBA, Adam Silver, attended a symposium at Seton Hall University.
One of the topics discussed was that of sports gambling. Silver has been open in his views and is an avid supporter in the legalization of sports gambling. He believes the controversially issue should be brought out of the dark and into the light so it can be correctly regulated. He also believed that the legalization was definitely going to occur because of the enormous revenue in will bring to participating states.
In December of last year, the NBA went as far as inking a deal with FanDuel which gave FanDuel access to official NBA betting data. Both entities are also working closely together to create new experiences in daily fantasy and sports betting to enhance the fan experience. With the Supreme Court decision, and with sports leagues such as the NBA and NFL in full support, there is no telling what heights the world of sports gambling can reach.
Below is a clip of Adam Silver talking sports gambling regulation