Following a recent development that could possibly allow sports betting to be legal across the United States, the country’s top sports leagues released a statement citing the move would create a cause for concern for the personal lives of the players.
The National Football League Players Association, National Basketball Players Association, Major League Baseball Players Association, and National Hockey League Players Association, which are the unions for the NBA, NFL, NHA, and MLB players, voiced their concerns regarding the imminent decision of the U.S. Supreme Court.
Presently, the state of New Jersey is involved in a case being heard by the U.S. Supreme Court about the possibility of authorizing sports betting in Atlantic City.
Former N.J. Gov. Chris Christie recently witnessed the justices’ discussions and is convinced sports betting will be made legal and available to the public soon.
Sports betting is currently legal in only four states: Oregon, Delaware, Nevada, and Montana.
The unions released the following statement:
“Given the pending Supreme Court decision regarding the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PAPSA) [SIC], representatives of the MLBPA, NBPA, NFLPA, and NHLPA have been working together on the legal, commercial, practical, and human consequences of sports betting to become mainstream. The time has come to address not just who profits from sports gambling, but also the costs. Our unions have been discussing the potential impact of legalized gambling on players’ privacy and publicity rights, the integrity of our games and the volatility of our businesses. Betting on sports may become widely legal, but we cannot allow those two have lobbied the hardest for sports gambling to be the only ones controlling how it would be ushered into our businesses. The athletes must also have a seat at the table to ensure that players’ rights and the integrity of our games are protected.”
The Supreme Court will decide in June.
Set to be overturned
According to a report in the Washington Examiner, observers close to the situation believe the U.S. Supreme Court will overturn the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), originally passed in 1992. It prohibits all states from gambling on sporting events, except for Oregon, Montana, Delaware, and Nevada.
The report added a total number of 20 states have already started the legislative process that would enable people to place bets on sporting events.
Certain states that have jumpstarted the legislative action include California, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, and Oklahoma.
There are several states that are close to creating a bill that would authorize sports betting. They include Pennsylvania, Massachusetts Rhode Island, South Carolina, and West Virginia.
Joining the mix
In addition, the state of Delaware, which has certain limitations when it comes to sports betting, has joined Mississippi, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and New York as they announced that they have enacted legislation that would overturn the cap on sports betting.
Sports betting is currently legal in Delaware but has its own impediments. One of those is the prohibition of gambling on any sporting event held by a college or university.
More Jobs and the Numbers
The Washington Examiner reported that state lawmakers in New Jersey are crossing their fingers and clinging to the belief that legalizing sports betting would result in not only greater revenue for the state but also more job opportunities for everyone.
In addition, New York currently has an estimated value to the state of $225 million, while Massachusetts and Connecticut are rated at $61 million and $80 million, respectively.
Furthermore, in a data gathered by the American Gaming Association, it revealed that the public spends about $150 billion annually in illegal gambling on sports events.
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