A Roll of the Dice


(Photo courtesy of Tyler Davidson)

Sports gambling is estimated to legalize 150 billion dollars of wagers on professional sports that were previously illegal.

The Supreme Court has recently overturned a 1992 law that banned gambling on commercial sports. This ruling has paved the way for billions of dollars to be spent in this previously illegal market. The law that was overturned was The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act. The purpose of this law was to ban states from legalizing gambling, but now that roadblock has been lifted and gambling is legal.

“It’s called the gamblization of sports. Fans will become much more focused on gambling than following a team. It will make every second of every game of every week interesting to fans as it will give everyone something to root for,” said the director of the sports law program at Tulane Law School, Gabriel Feldman, in an interview with The New York Times.

One possible positive effect of the law change is that legal gambling could lead to sports fans becoming more interested in sports. This, in turn, would help boost revenue of sports leagues and teams, possibly helping the NFL, who has had low ratings in recent years. With the change in gambling laws, fans of different sports leagues could possibly win money while watching their favorite teams. Sports gambling is very accessible because, through different apps, you can place wagers and win or lose money.

“I think that sports gambling is dangerous because of the risk involved.” said sophomore Hunter Kelly.

Easy access to gambling through smartphones could have a negative effect on some people. Many people struggle with gambling and they easily fall back into that addiction through their phones. Apps like Betstars, Fanduel, and DraftKings offer legal gambling to people who are willing to place wagers.

“I think sports gambling is ok as long as people stay honest and pay their debts. Sports gambling also needs to not involve violence.” said junior John Arndt.

Even though the law was overturned, sports gambling is not legal in all states and opens the possibility of legal gambling. States like New Jersey and Delaware have full-scale gambling. Other states like New York and Arkansas are moving toward legislation, and other states are in the process of debating and introducing the legislation. ESPN is currently tracking each state’s progress and you can access the tracker here.

“Gambling should be legal in some ways. I think it needs to be decriminalized and made safer.” said sophomore Zachary Wilmoth.

Sports gambling is a gamble within itself. The legalization allows the possibility for the viewership and productivity for sports leagues to thrive. It also creates this issue of  accessible gambling and people wasting their money because of their addiction to their smartphone. Legal gambling might just be a roll of the dice.