Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Sports Betting Could Become Revenue Category for Radio

Sports fans on Monday shrugged off a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that could open the door to legalize sports betting, saying it would likely have little impact on baseball, basketball and football games already subject to off-the-books gambling.

Reuters reports, the nation’s top court struck down a 1992 law that widely outlawed gambling on college and professional sports, calling it unconstitutional and likely touching off a rush by gaming businesses and states to cash in on an expected multibillion-dollar industry.

By legalizing sports gambling, the Supreme Court has opened the door for casinos, daily fantasy sports sites, racetracks and other potential operators to open up legitimate sports betting operations across the U.S., allowing gamblers to wager without having to use a potentially shady, unregulated website that might not pay you if you won too much.

USAToday notes some daily fantasy sports sites, such as DraftKings, are already moving towards accepting wagers, emailing users on Monday afternoon about the Supreme Court announcement and saying that it planned to accept wagers in the future.

John Garziglia
Experts, however, cautioned that illegal gambling was unlikely to disappear just because sports fans could make legal wagers and that professional sports leagues would likely take a cautious approach.

George Belch, a San Diego State University marketing professor and co-founder of the school’s Sports Management MBA program, said that on one hand the major sports leagues would welcome the television viewers that gambling could attract in a time of declining ratings, but would be leery about damaging the integrity of their sports.

Baseball suffered one of its biggest scandals when eight members of the Chicago White Sox, including star outfielder “Shoeless” Joe Jackson, were accused of throwing the 1919 World Series in exchange for money from a gambling syndicate.

And former Cincinnati Reds star-turned manager Pete Rose was banned from Baseball Hall of Fame over accusations that he bet on games.

The National Football League expressed similar sentiments, calling on Congress to enact a “regulatory framework” for sports betting.

Broadcast attorney John Garziglia tells Radio Ink he believes this could lead to another advertising category for radio. “I believe that several states will be quick to change their laws to allow for sports betting. Once the state law is changed, radio advertising for sports betting in that state will be legal.”

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