You have likely heard of “the underground economy.” It’s commerce done beneath the surface of a country’s fiscal engine. Monday, May 14, might just be the day a portion of that economy surfaces. Monday the 14th the United States Supreme Court struck down a federal law that prohibited U.S.-based sports wagering. What does this mean? Money Examiners looks at the U.S.-based sports gambling ruling and makes a few bet…er, prognostications about the future. We also answer some questions raised to us.
The sky is falling because this will attract the mob! Actually, folks concerned about the sports they love and integrity therein need to relax, because the Supreme Court did not just cause point-shaving and fixed games.
How can you say that for sure? Sports betting takes place on every game. This ruling is about sports gambling based in the United States. But, offshore sportsbooks operate 24/7/365. They’re in foreign countries (Costa Rica and Antigua are two popular ones.) They accept money and make payouts in American currency. About four clicks on, for example, BetOnline.ag and you’re betting.
How much goes in and out of these offshore sportsbooks every year. The AGA (American Gaming Assoc.) says Americans wager $150 billion a year on sports.
So, are you saying this ruling won’t change anything? No, it will change the way sports betting conducts its business! There are 32 states with a plan in place for sports wagering. For those states, U.S-based sports wagering means a revenue stream via taxation.
For bettors? It means betting with U.S-based entities. More importantly, though, it will eliminate the current need for finance middlemen (think MoneyGram) and the high withdrawal fees the bettor incurs.
You said 32 states plan to legalize sports betting, but not what states. New Jersey will be first. It levied the lawsuit the Supreme Court settled. After that, Delaware, New York, Mississippi, and West Virginia will quickly get into legal bookmaking.
Okay, that’s five… Most northeastern states will take part. They will be joined by states scattered across the Plains states, but you’ll see legal wagering out west, as well.
What about California? The Sacramento Bee said this. “California will legalize sports betting, pursuant to a Supreme Court decision overturning the federal law outlawing the practice.” Money Examiners’ sources believe that “could” is soon “will.”
What happens first? Brick and mortar places will, surely, take the first wagers. In fact, if a casino or ballpark is near you expect a sportsbook to show up there.
Can’t I bet with a smartphone app? Look at you! Notice, we said “the first wagers.” When this gets fully underway, mobile betting apps will be the new Candy Crush.
Is there a timeline? It’s a drag race to the first Thursday in September.
What is special about that day? That’s Opening Night for the National Football League. It’s the big dog on the sports wagering landscape. Sure, some people bet on New Zealand cricket matches but pro football will draw big crowds to the casino/sportsbook.
Is there pushback from professional sports leagues? Monday afternoon they all issued press releases saying variations on the “integrity in our game” theme, but that’s all. In fact, pro basketball, led by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, embraces the idea. He knows a Nov. 21st matchup between the Sacramento Kings and New Orleans Pelicans is more exciting if a few dollars are riding on it.
It sounds like an exciting time for U.S.-based sports fans. Bet on it, pun intended.