Supreme Court Rules for New Jersey; Legalized Gambling Coming to USA

Swinging Johnson

Monday, May 14, 2018 3:19 PM UTC

Monday, May. 14, 2018 3:19 PM UTC

In a long-anticipated ruling, the United States Supreme Court has given authority to all states to legalize and regulate sports betting.

Prohibition is over sports bettors! The arcane laws that applied to sports betting began melting away with the advent of offshore betting sites, which ultimately became the bane of those in the legislature trying to prohibit adults from doing what millions did anyway. The stigma of betting on a game has long since dwindled, yet it was a new form of sports betting that led the way -- fantasy sports. Yes, the millennials decided that backing their sports knowledge with cold, hard cash was a cool hobby and one that was perfectly legal. The irony was that Roger Goodell, the tub-thumping, anti-betting zealot NFL commissioner, embraced fantasy sports because it attracted a new audience that boosted ratings and assisted greatly in making the league the juggernaut that it is today.

The irony was not lost on sports bettors, who relentlessly assailed Goodell’s hypocrisy of advocating for one form of betting vs. impugning the nature of the other and can now take solace in the fact that betting on a football team will be as legal as betting on a fantasy team. The whole thing was just a matter of semantics and the hackneyed image of bent-nose bookmakers paying and collecting in a shady barroom had long given way to a more regulated offshore industry that, although not without its share of charlatans masquerading as sportsbooks, has been the home of several reputable online betting sites that have thrived for decades due to timely payouts and customer service that would rival any Las Vegas sportsbook.

As I was reading about the Court’s most recent decision I was not surprised to see former Patriots linebacker and three-time Super Bowl champ Matt Chatham (@chatham58), one of the sharpest minds, football or otherwise, opine on Twitter thusly:

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Since @NFL & @nflcommish have always finger-wagged at players & fans on the sanctity of the league & its all-time aversion to 🏈 gambling, a new fed ruling on the legality of state-sanctioned gambling won’t change the NFL’s stance because of their integrity on the issue, right?

— Matt Chatham (@chatham58) May 14, 2018

Chatham was obviously being sarcastic, but it was a direct hit on Goodell’s hypocritical stance that betting would affect the integrity of professional football when betting on professional soccer has been part and parcel of the game in Europe. The very fact that there is an underground economy predicated on American football betting has immeasurably benefited the NFL, and to pretend otherwise and sanctimoniously pontificate to the contrary is absurd at best and disingenuous at worst. It is indeed both because Goodell has the audacity to believe that anyone within earshot buys what he has been selling and will fall hook, line and sinker when he maintains his posture but magnanimously relents to the will of the people and the ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court. What a load of crap! It is indeed that cavalier attitude that has made Goodell the villain in this sports betting tug-of-war while his fellow-commissioner, the NBA’s Adam Silver, warmed to the idea of sports betting many years ago.

There is a discussion ensuing at SBR about how the offshore market will be affected, and the general consensus is that this will enhance those who currently bet with those services. The feeling is that the best books in the business will remain and the ne’er-do-wells will wither on the vine. Regardless, the wheels are officially in motion, but don’t expect online sports betting in the USA to happen overnight. States will face bureaucratic hurdles and taxation will be front and center regarding this new revenue generating source. It will take time, but New Jersey will be up and running in perhaps just two weeks as they have been at the vanguard of this push to legalize an issue whose time had come long ago.

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