NBA wants to legalize sports betting
NBA commissioner Adam Silver, who is the head of the campaign to legalize sports betting, says in the article in the New York Times: “Most of the Americans at the moment are betting on sports in other countries. Due to this, the United States waste a lot of money, which influences the state budget. In the case of the legalization of betting, authorities would be able to prevent the diversion of funds.” This proves that professional sports leagues are ready to change their tune.
The initiative of New Jersey to introduce Las Vegas-style sports betting to Atlantic City casinos and the state’s racetracks doubted the effectiveness of the existing ban on sports betting. New York, Minnesota, South Carolina and Indiana also raised the question of legalization, and two of the bills were introduced in Congress.
An associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School Dr. Howard Shaffer worries that the country is not mature enough to become a gambling society. He thinks that legalization will attract more young people that have never tried betting before. Professional sportsmen have also a great risk. So, more social services will be needed to help those who will suffer from betting addiction.
Ted Hartwell was an addictive player himself until 2007. Now he is one of the public people helping to strive with the gambling problems. Las Vegas Problem Gambling Centre helped him and now he is sure that it is quite possible to cure from this with the help of special treatment. According to the statistics of the National Council of Problematic Gambling, only 1% starts the treatment. But the results can be really noticeable, e.g., in Arizona 97% of patients were helped.
Sports betting has become an integral part of American culture, although it is banned in 49 states. But 1 in 6 people bet on professional sports events in 2008, and 18.7% of athletes gambled in 2012.
Billions of dollars are spent on sports betting every year. The preliminary estimation of NCAA tournament is $9 billion only. After legalization, the sum will certainly increase.
Just wagering on sports lottery was $10.81 m in 2009 and $37.8 m in 2014 already.
Therefore, the legalization of sports betting is just the question of time, and the industry is waiting for it.