Friday, May 25, 2018

My Thoughts on Sports Betting and Major League Baseball

I touched on this a bit in a previous post this week, but I wanted to take it one step further and really give my opinion on the United States Supreme Court’s decision to legalize sports betting in the United States. I think this is going to be terrible in the grand scheme of things, but at the same time you have to wonder how much is really going to change? Those two statements seem contradictory, I understand that, but if you really think about it they aren’t. Let me explain.

Before if you wanted to do any sort of sports betting you couldn’t just run down to an online casino and do so, but those who wanted to do it still did it regardless. They might make a trip to Nevada and Las Vegas, or they may know a guy who knows a guy. Either way, sports betting was happening regardless, now with this ruling it is up to each individual state whether they will allow sports betting or not. I believe that all this ruling will do is make it easier for those who want to bet to do so. Convenience wins once again.

The players are going to want a cut of this and so are the teams. Will this drive down prices at the ball parks since there will presumably be added revenue for the teams and for the players? I doubt it, but there should be. This is going to be potentially a huge money-making aspect for the league and I think if the top executives, owners, and players benefit from it I think it should trickle down to the fans as well. Again, it won’t, but it should. The league has asked for a 1% integrity fee from these sports bets and have even been on record as willing to go as low as 0.25 percent on this fee. That doesn’t sound like a lot of money but when you consider how much money is spent and wagered in gambling every single year the amount of money the league would garner from this before they do anything significant would be astronomical. That is before you consider advertisements and such as well.

This is going to be terrible in the grand scheme of things because the rich will continue to get rich while the fans continue to foot the bill. The owners will get their integrity fee and the players will receive a portion of that, it is going to happen either right away or when the two sides meet for a new collective bargaining agreement in 2021. This could potentially lead to a strike if either side cannot agree to terms and meet in the middle, which could be detrimental to the progress that the league has made since the 1994 strike. But, to go back to my original statement, are things really going to change that much? Obviously, they will if we see another work stoppage, but hasn’t the owners and the players always gotten rich while prices for the fans have continued to go up? Television stations and such for teams have been making teams money at an all-time high, yet ticket prices continue to go up. Merchandise continues to go up. Concessions continue to go up. Do you think any of that will change when, not if, the league, owners and the players start receiving money from legalized gambling? If your answer is yes, think again, because it won’t.

The only constant is change, except when it comes to greed and money. Think on it, and reinstate Pete Rose.

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