Weeks after a US Supreme Court ruling striking down a long-standing ban against sports betting outside of Nevada, the National Collegiate Athletic Association responded by reaffirming their commitment to maintain the purity of college sports, but are they fighting a needless battle?
The Sports Betting Market Continues to Grow
There is no denying the popularity of sports betting or the increased excitement it brings to many sports fans. It is clear that the migration of gambling operators into mobile markets has been fully embraced by fans. According to the University of Nevada Center for Gaming Research, sports betting in Nevada alone has grown by over $2 billion, a 40 percent increase, since 2014. Inconsistent records keeping makes calculating the total size of the sports betting industry online difficult, but some estimations show the US online market doubling from $20 billion to $40 billion since 2009. The total size of all US sports betting is impossible to know due to the size of the illegal market. Estimates of the illegal market have ranged wildly, reaching as high as $150 billion. If anything is certain it’s that sports betting is a growing industry that is here to stay.
After the Supreme Court’s May ruling, sports gambling operators responded immediately and quickly moved to establish their presence in Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama and other states where college sports fans are particularly enthusiastic. Although some schedules have turned out to be too ambitious, gambling operations in some states are slated to begin as early as August. Although analyst’s predictions have ranged from optimistic to modest, most seem to agree that it’s too early to predict how the illegal market will transition into these legal venues and produce tax revenue.
Are the Fears of the NCAA and Gambling Opponents Legitimate?
As the NCAA scrambles to respond to the potential impact of widespread sports betting on college athletes, advocates of the Supreme Court decision argue that the fears of naysayers are unwarranted. With the rise of mobile gambling apps, state restrictions on gambling have little impact. The most significant change will be in terms of decentralization. As the percentage of the sports-betting market continues to swing in the favor of online betting, the impact on sports fans who enjoy gambling will be minimal. The opportunity to gamble through apps was already there. While the Supreme Court’s decision opens the door to physical locations, gambling advocates argue that this will have little impact on athletes as online sports gambling continues to grow in popularity. Most importantly, changes in the legality of gambling in states outside of Nevada will have no impact on the guidelines set for student athletes by the NCAA. Student athletes will continue to be held to the same standards established by their academic institutions.
Excitement Grows for Fans of Sports Betting
Within the next few years, we can expect to see significant changes for sports betters. Football fans who love to gamble will have the opportunity to place a bet at the stadium, grab their familiar snacks and watch their favorite teams with the increased excitement of having skin in the game. To get in on the action now, it’s easy to get the information you need to bet on your favourite football team! It’s truly an exciting time for sports fans!