The Sideline Observer

Sports and Culture Commentary

The Future of Sports Gambling

I still remember when online sports betting sites like FanDuel ran rampant like swine flu. As if betting on season long fantasy leagues wasn’t enough, many fans fell victim to thinking daily sports gambling would be easy money.

Whether it be sports, board games, drinking contests, the stock market, or a good ol’ cock fight, people enjoy wagering. It is not human nature to want to take your peers’ money by gambling.

The sports betting site FanDuel is legal in my home state of Maryland, but has been declared as illegal gambling in Arizona, Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New York, Washington and Idaho as of May 4, 2016. In these states, users can not register onto the site because the sports betting offered does not operate within these states’ gambling laws.

Even though FanDuel is still a legal means of sports betting, bills are now surfacing in many states to offer the same caliber of sports betting as Nevada, the only state where full fledged betting is legal.

This is due to the Federal Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA), which discouraged states from making sports betting legal and on May 4, 2018, was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

Since PASPA has been overturned, some states have had sports betting bills introduced and passed such as Delaware and West Virginia. Over time, more bills will be introduced and likely passed in the coming years.

Legal sports betting is not something that many folks are going to be doing, but it will certainly be fun to legally win a wager at your local casino.

As seen in my FanDuel anecdote, sports betting has a lot of potential, the question is whether the joy and money it brings will outweigh the people’s lives who it may dishevel. Will it change the sports world? I can’t say for sure.

But, i’d bet on it.

– Greg King

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