Wanna Make a Bet?
There are several states now offering legal sports betting inside their boundaries. And that, of course, is the key. One must be inside the state itself in order to wager. There is no federal law on the books allowing legal sports wagering nationwide, therefore, it is a hodgepodge of confusion unless you get familiarized with the current state of affairs vis a vis all things sports betting in the good ole US of A.
|State||Is sports betting legal?||Is online sports betting legal?|
|Delaware||Yes||Yes – launch undetermined|
|Mississippi||Yes||Yes – on-property only|
|New Mexico||Yes – at tribal casinos||Yes|
|North Carolina||Yes – pending launch||No|
|Tennessee||Yes – pending launch||Yes – pending launch|
|Wash DC||Yes, pending launch||Yes – pending launch|
And there are states whose legislatures have passed sports betting bills, but have yet to roll out their online platforms to those within their geographic boundaries:
Tennessee – April 30, 2019
North Carolina – July 26, 2019
Colorado – Nov. 5, 2019
Washington – March 25, 2020
There are only eight states that are not considering legal sports gambling at this point and they include, Maine, Florida, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Idaho, Utah, Wyoming, and Nebraska. Forty-two of the remaining states have either made it available to the public, have already passed legislation but have not yet rolled it out to the public, or are considering legislation to make it legal in that state.
NFL Stance on Sports Betting Softening
The NFL’s denunciation of sports betting has long been considered transparent and feigned hypocrisy of the highest order. Sports betting was made for football and football was made for sports betting. It’s Mutt and Jeff, Batman and Robin, peanut butter and jelly or any other inextricably woven pair you can imagine.
Television ratings are historically through the roof on NFL Sunday, Monday Night Football, and even Thursday Night Football to a lesser extent due in large part to the financial investments the viewing public has on these contests. And with the advent of fantasy sports, where fans can construct their own lineups to compete head to head or against thousands with million-dollar paydays in the offing, the public’s insatiable appetite for the NFL has only grown exponentially.
Yet, the NFL has sanctimoniously poo-pooed and tsk-tsked the notion of betting on their weekly contests because it could potentially violate the integrity of their league. It’s low hanging fruit for the league to pontificate because they know that betting legally or illegally on the NFL is inevitable regardless of their posturing and they can only reap the benefits. After all, how many people would watch a late afternoon Sunday contest between the Bengals and the Lions if money wasn’t at stake? But watch it they do because there’s money to be won or lost and the NFL gets beaucoup dough because of it.
However, we can see a thaw in the NFL’s party line as legal wagering in the United States becomes far more mainstream after the US Supreme Court decreed The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) unconstitutional. Just consider the change in NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s stance on sports gambling over the last three years.
2017 – After league owners voted in favor of moving the Raiders’ franchise from Oakland to Las Vegas, Roger Goodell stated, “Society, in general, has a little bit of a change with respect to gambling in general. We’ve seen that. I think we still strongly oppose legalized sports gambling. The integrity of our game is No. 1. We will not compromise on that.”
2020 – Goodell visiting Las Vegas stated the following: “We think that sports gambling in many ways creates a lot more engagement for our fans. It gives them another opportunity to engage with the game.”
Ah, excuse me? Nothing like jumping on the bandwagon when it’s already full. Of course, Goodell and the NFL commissioners before him, have been snickering up their sleeves at having their sanctimonious cake and eating it too. But now that there is little, if any, social stigma attached to sports betting, Goodell can finally descend from his high horse and join the people. Congratulations Roger, it took you long enough.