A law was passed by the Supreme Court stating that it was up to the state government as to whether they would legalize sports gambling in their region or not. Due to this, many states have been getting on the bandwagon and have been planning on sports betting legalization. New Jersey became one of the first and many soon followed.
This move was made in order to help boost the sports industry, allowing sports leagues and bookmakers to make more money. Other than that, tax revenues of the state also went up during the first year this law was applied. This brought in a lot of gamblers to the local sports bars to place their bets on games. One of which was FanDuel’s New Jersey Sportsbook.
According to Florida State law professor, Ryan Rodenberg, the end of the year will see about 15 states having legalized sports betting, which may allow them to earn tons of money through bets. However, this doesn’t come without a consequence. Rodenberg states that there are unpaid college athletes who are vulnerable to merciless bettors.
These bettors have enough money to bribe college students to throw away a game. Rodenberg particularly mentions that this is very common in college sports, especially college basketball.
The athletic director of Marshall University, Mike Hamrick, seconds the motion that this is a very possible scenario. Even if athletes have a scholarship, receiving a lot of cash upfront is a different story. Hamrick recounted one event wherein he watched a basketball game of the University of Nevada Las Vegas. The UNLV was seemingly winning the game when in the last second, one of the players didn’t take an open layup that was supposed to win them the entire game.
While there wasn’t any proof of bribery involved, this type of incident must be investigated, as stated by Hamrick. Hamrick mentioned that education was key to preventing incidents of bribery. Also, he mentioned that if a player starts to buy more expensive things, he would investigate where they came from.
However, it’s not just bettors bribing players that can be worrisome but also incidences of bettors trying to get insider info are pretty big issues. Any type of information may help a bettor with their picks or odds. So, if ever players or other people involved in games such as medical staff would say that Player A has an injury, then the odds of the other team winning are increased.
With the shift in the law, Hamrick mentions that sports associations have to be very careful that this type of activity doesn’t corrupt sports as it is. Rodenberg iterates that due to these reasons, he is very stern on his stance that sports betting must be kept illegal so that the bettors won’t take advantage of the situation.
Of course, this means good news for the sports betting platform. Joe Asher, CEO of William Hill US, in particular, supports this new law because it allows his company to further expand their reach to more target markets.
This shift may mean that a once disregarded practice will now be a staple in most sports games.