Sports Betting Is Legal? What It Means For College Football.
No, you won’t be simply be able to make a wager from anywhere in the United States … yet.
The Supreme Court has decided by a 7-2 margin to end the federal ban on sports betting, and now … game on.
It’ll be done on a state-by-state case basis, but the several states other than New Jersey are ready to jump on board to rake in the billons and billions of dollars set to come in with legalized sports betting in the United States – at least outside of Nevada.
Inevitably, you’ll be able to place a wager on your mobile device, you’ll be able to wage on halftime lines, prop bets, and all the things many of you probably do now on either an offshore site or with “your guy.” But now, it’ll all be above board, and it’ll all be legalized. So what does this all mean, and specifically, what does it mean for the world of college football?
It’ll be tricky early on.
At least by the time football season starts, you might not necessarily be able to live in, say, Missouri, and place a bet in New Jersey. This isn’t like the legalization of marijuana on a state-by-state basis, but it’s not going to be far off. There will be some states that aren’t going to want anything to do with this early on – and then it’ll change fast once the revenue figures come rolling in.
No, this won’t kill the ways you’re probably “investing” right now.
Here’s going to be the issue for longtime gamblers – they rates of return aren’t going to be as strong.
If the leagues themselves have a part of this – like, if the NBA sets up kiosks in the arenas to place a wager, or if the NFL jumps in with a league-sanctioned way to do it – it’ll be safe, and it’ll be trustworthy, but they might take a whole lot more of the pie.
Think of this like buying tickets for a concert. Yeah, you can do it through any one of a number of corporate entities, but you have to pay a convenience fee. You’re probably going to want to wager at the place where you know you won’t have to tack on a 5-10% upcharge over what you normally would.
Okay, but for college football …
The big winner? ESPN. Now you’re going to watch and care about hot MACtion more than ever on a Tuesday night, and you might just watch that Sun Belt game on a mid-November Wednesday.
The whole idea behind these games were to 1) give the lesser leagues more exposure and 2) appeal to the degenerate types who couldn’t wait until Saturday and Sunday to bet.
Now, there will be more and more college games moved to the middle of the week to increase ratings. Now, it’ll be a whole lot more fun to watch those games and get into the ins and outs of every team, not just Alabama, Ohio State and the big boys. However …
Here’s the big, big problem.
Now, college athletics will have to deal with the players who don’t get paid.
Legalized sports betting works in the professional model, because, for the most part, the players are making so much coin that it’s not worth the risk to mess with monkeying with their games.
Let’s say you’re a 19-year-old star shooting guard, or starting quarterback, or any college athlete who doesn’t have any real money. Yes, there’s always been the idea of game fixing and the athletes have always been vulnerable, but now this is different.
There’s a difference between some shady character trying to get a player to do something to affect an outcome, and a player telling his roommate or friend to go on their phone and place a wager.
The NCAA is going to have to get involved in this … FAST.
Now, social media accounts from players are going to be more important than ever to scrutinize. The outlets that take sports wagers will have to be vigilant and proactive in figuring out who’s placing these wagers – but judging by the recent issues with Facebook and Google, good luck with that.
Yeah, athletes can bet now offshore, but there’s a difference when it’s all part of the daily norm.
This will all be fun and games for the rest of us, but there is a dangerous mix happening here when it comes to college athletes.
But get ready for your college football viewing life to be a whole lot more interesting – and a whole lot different.
Game on, America.