NFL Hypocrisy On Display With New Jersey Sports Betting Lawsuit
The state of New Jersey is set to become early next year the third state in the US to regulate sports betting. The idea that sports betting regulations are spreading has many of the top sports leagues in America concerned.
The NFL is the most successful and most popular sports league in the country, and they have joined forces with Major League Baseball, the NHL, NBA, and NCAA. The leagues have filed a lawsuit disputing the legality of the new sports betting law in New Jersey, and the hope is to block Atlantic City casinos from offering sports wagering at all.
"This is a tough position for the NFL and some of these other leagues," said Gaming Expert Graham Marsh. "The NFL has openly supported gambling over the past two years in various forms, and it is the betting that drives the popularity of the league, so they must be careful not to upset their biggest fans."
It is estimated that hundreds of billions of dollars is bet on the NFL annually. On the Super Bowl alone, gamblers wager more than $100 million. Each year, the Super Bowl is the most bet on single event in the world. While the gambling has driven the NFL's popularity, the league has long maintained a public appearance of opposition to gambling.
That was until a few years ago when owners wanted the rights to partner with local lotteries to sell scratch-off tickets with team logos. The Washington Redskins and New York Giants were the first teams to partner with state lotteries after the league changed their stance to allow for such deals.
The NCAA has gone even farther than the lawsuit to show their displeasure with New Jersey. The NCAA has pulled five championship events out of New Jersey. The league is in the process of searching for other venues outside of New Jersey to host the events.
A similar stance could be taken by the NFL. Next year's Super Bowl is set to be played in New Jersey, at the relatively new home of the Jets and Giants. With New Jersey regulators set to start issuing sports betting licenses early in 2013, the NFL will have a tough decision to make as to whether they will keep the Super Bowl in New Jersey.
As of now, only Nevada and Delaware offer sports betting. Nevada has sports books throughout the state that offer a wide range of betting options on sports and entertainment. Delaware only recently started offering sports betting, and they only allow parlay bets at their sports books. Parlay bets make gamblers choose two or more teams, and all picks must be correct for the gambler to win the bet.