11 Questions with Chuck Todd
8. Will Legalized Sports Betting Spread?
Posted On 05.17, 2013

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‹‹ 7. How Will Recession Affect Sports? 9. Which Sports Writers Do You Read and Admire? ››

RCS: 47 states out of 50 are running deficits. In the same interview with the Sports Business Journal, you said “[T]he next great revenue generator for government is sports gambling.”  A few weeks ago we had a discussion with Governor Jack Markell about his proposal to legalize sport betting in Delaware. He said, “Should we be successful, might other states try to emulate us in their state? They might.”

Do you believe legalized sports betting will spread to other states in the near future?

Todd: It’s going to spread like a virus. The New Jersey government essentially is suing. What they believe is they know Congress isn’t going to change the law when it comes to sports gambling, and New Jersey wants to have a sports book. Right now they can’t have a sports book. So what they want to do is say that that law is unconstitutional. This law that creates that somehow there’s an exception that allows sports betting for four states including Delaware and Nevada.

Now, I’ve interviewed New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine about this. It was the quick question I threw at him one morning on Morning Joe a couple of weeks ago. I asked him about it and he said we can’t get Congress to change the law. I said, “Why? Because Harry Reid, the Senate Majority Leader who happens to be from Nevada, would never support it?” But Reid’s not going to support some sort of change to law that’s going to hurt Nevada’s monopoly essentially on sports books. But with everybody capped out on the legalized gambling front: lotteries and even casino gambling feels a little bit saturated.

Where is money not staying in the United States? Well it’s in sports gambling, because if you’re not in Nevada you might be gambling with three sites that are based in the Caribbean or in Europe or whatever, and that’s where millions of dollars are going. That’s a potential revenue generator. With so many politicians afraid to raise taxes, or even fees, you go the gambling route. Slots is tapped out, lottery is tapped out, Card games tapped out. So it’s sports betting. It’s going to spread. They’re all going to figure out ways around this federal law or the Supreme Court is going to say what Congress passed is unconstitutional -- that somehow it’s in violation of the 10th Amendment; violation of a States right.

Now with the sports leagues, particularly the NCAA, but also the sports in professional leagues, they’re going to fight this like crazy because they’re fearful of it. But on the other hand, where would the NFL be without gambling? They’ll never admit it, but where would the NFL’s popularity be without gambling? I also consider Fantasy a version of gambling.

RCS Interviews Chuck Todd

‹‹ 7. How Will Recession Affect Sports? 9. Which Sports Writers Do You Read and Admire? ››

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