Americans love coming together over a good game of basketball, baseball or football and see it as a social and cultural event. In May 2018, the PASPA ban on sports betting was lifted after heavy debate. So what does this mean for America and for sports going forward?
In 1992, the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act banned gambling in pretty much all American states, with the exception ofa few including Nevada. But even though sports betting has been banned in America for nearly twenty-six years, it still doesn’t mean that it didn’t happen. Illegal betting still is very much an issue for America, with up to $150 million dollars being bet every year outside of the law.
Although the new law may not be popular for many, it does mean that more focus can now be put into making sure that there are rules and regulations to protect players and the industry. In addition, states are now going to be able to have a say in what rules and regulations they can create around gambling, giving them much more freedom and the chance to cater to varying beliefs.
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Opposition has initially come from sports leagues and key spokespeople within the industry, who have fears that sports games could be sullied because of sports betting being legalized. However, there also seems to be a lot of support from the other end of the scale, from both American citizens and Sports Associations speaking in favour of gambling. Now, 6 in 10 Americans actually feel like this law will protect them whilst the NBA Commisoner Adam Silver, in 2015 said:
Congress should adopt a federal framework that allows states to authorize betting on professional sports, subject to strict regulatory requirements and technological safeguards…sports betting should be brought out of the underground and into the sunlight where it can be appropriately monitored and regulated.
There is also the belief that this push will also help to create more jobs, industry and revenue. The vast revenue brought in my gambling has been demonstrated in Nevada alone. Figures show that Nevada’s Gaming Control reported a whopping $4.8 billion accumulated through betting in 2017, so it is certainly not wanting. Many sports teams are also keen to cash in on the winnings, looking to scoop up a percentage of the bets placed against them. Given the results from Nevada, it looks like they could do pretty well from this.
Sports betting was banned for a reason, and for many, gambling is a drain on resources and funds. For others though, this new law has multiple benefits, including the creation of new jobs and the chance to actually keep an eye on gambling. There are hopes that illegal gambling will also decline by giving Americans this opportunity. It’s still a very new law so we will just have to wait and see what happens. From the sounds of it though, this looks to have more pros than cons.