Analysis. History. Perspective.

Sports Then and Now

New Laws and Pro Sports in Vegas Turns the Gambling World Upside Down

Posted on September 27, 2018 by Dean Hybl

Vegas-hockeyIt is amazing how much the gambling world has changed in a relatively short period of time.

Not long ago, the big innovations were related to online gaming and poker while legal sports gambling was available only in Las Vegas.

Now, with the advent of daily fantasy sports and the ruling by the Supreme Court that has paved the way for every state to legally accept sports betting, the landscape is quite different.

Since the Supreme Cot ruling earlier this year, four states: New Jersey, Delaware West Virginia and Mississippi have already legalized some form of sports betting in their states. Three others: Pennsylvania, New York and Rhode Island are in the final stages of legislation and will likely join the mix very soon.

According to an ESPN study, there are 15 additional states that have started the process towards legalizing some form of sports betting.

All of the remaining states have laws prohibiting sports gambling, but ESPN wrote that with the exception of Utah, there is at least a possibility that sports betting could eventually become legal in those states.

Another dynamic that has changed is the insistence that Las Vegas could not be a professional sports city due to the proximity to gambling.

Of course, given that sports betting could in theory eventually be legal in every state, it would be just about impossible for the pro sports to not be located near gambling sites.

The expansion of the NHL to Las Vegas a year ago proved to be a huge win for the city and league while seemingly having no real negative impacts as it relates to gambling.

In fact, the Las Vegas Golden Knights proved to be the talk of the league.

Despite their expansion status, the Golden Knights won the Pacific Division and then beat the odds to reach the Stanley Cup Finals before losing to the Washington Capitals.

Fans of the Raiders football franchise are hoping their team will have a similar outcome when they officially move to Las Vegas in 2020.

After playing for decades in the antiquated Oakland Coliseum, the Raiders will feel like they are playing in a palace when they begin play in 2020 in the $1.7 billion stadium near the Vegas Strip.

All professional sports leagues have expressed some concerns regarding the new laws allowing sports gambling in every state. However, they all seem to be more concerned with whether they can cash in on a piece of the pie, rather than whether the additional gambling could compromise the integrity of their sports.

Given that sports owners and commissioners are singly focused on increasing revenue, you can “bet” that they will eventually figure out a way to get their share.

At the end of the day, the amount of revenue available to states and sports teams makes it very likely that widespread sports betting is here to stay.


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