At some point, sometime soon, sports leagues are just going to have to accept the fact that Americans gamble on sports and that government is going to want a piece of the action. But sports leagues have not given up the fight yet and will try and stop New Jersey from establishing a sports book.
Forget the fact for a moment that gambling is a vice and that the National Football League’s basic appeal is to vices, violence, drinking and gambling, New Jersey voters have been told that the don’t count by the National Football League and other sports governing bodies.
In November 2011, New Jersey voters said yes to legalize sports gambling and authorized casinos in Atlantic City to open sports books. The sports leagues sued and won stopping the establishment of a sports book in Atlantic City. A judge decided that the will of the people could be ignored in the interest of the sports leagues. Part of the problem was that New Jersey’s legislature couldn’t decide whether to legalize sports betting in the early 1990s and lost the opportunity to establish a sports gambling operation in Atlantic City casinos because the Congress passed the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 and President George HW Bush signed it into law. Nevada, Delaware, Montana and Oregon were exempt because those states had some form of sports betting.
Delaware opened casinos and by 2009 decided to open sports betting parlors in the state’s casinos. The NFL sued and won. Delaware does have NFL parlay betting on the Sunday schedule like it did in 1976.
New Jersey’s state legislature came up with a new law and planned to open a sports betting parlor at Monmouth Racetrack on October 26. The leagues plan to stop it. The NFL won’t stop fantasy football though.
Sports betting is universal. One English soccer league was sponsored by a sports betting company. In Kotor, Montenegro, there is a kiosk in a local mall where you could legally bet on the NBA Final and the Stanley Cup Finals. Same in the United Kingdom and in Hamilton, Bermuda, NFL games are on the board.
The NFL wants to stop state sponsored sports gambling because it somehow besmirches the NFL.