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Americans Waiting to Place Bets on Legalized Sports Gambling

October 16, 2012

Sports fans have longed to put their real money where their loud mouths are for years. The prospect of allowing real sports bets online has proved a tantalizing carrot dangling in front of social media companies and politicians alike, as it generates more than $30 billion worldwide, according to the L.A. Times. With the advent of games like SportsCasino, and the potential legalization of online sports betting, the landscape of gambling in the U.S. could change dramatically in the near future. While many see this legalization as a forbidden fruit ripe for the picking, the federal ban, officially known as the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), along with other moral and federal opposition, has caused many a hurdle on the road to sports betting. If you are interested in making waves in the world of sports betting, or just curious about how it could affect you, read on for a who’s who and a how-to.

The U.K. Paves The Way

In the U.K. and some parts of Asia, online bets are a mecca of entertainment for sports fans. Online gambling worldwide is expected to rise by 9.2 percent per year until 2015, surpassing the $182 billion mark, reports The Independent, a London-based online newspaper. (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/gambling-revenues-to-soar-to-183bn-by-2015-6272441.html)

The most popular form of sports betting in the U.K. is in-game betting, giving the players the opportunity to make a split second betting decisions immediately before a point is scored or a goal is made. This style of in-game micro-bets allows users plenty of down time in between big plays, causing many of them to drift over to casino portion of the sites. These play-by-play bets account for 80 percent of overall sports bets, and gives the user enough down time to drift over to more casino style betting.

This easily accessible betting platform is being enacted and adapted by RocketPlay, an online betting company that has partnered with social gaming giant Zynga and Facebook to offer a similar platform in America. At this point, SportsCasino can be played with only virtual money (which replenishes slowly, or can be bought in bulk using real money); however, the Los Angeles Times reports that many states and figureheads are pushing to make sports betting legal.

What Does This Mean For You?

With the explosive popularity of online games, coupled with the mountainous success in the U.K., you can practice your hand at play-by-play bets. Building your skills and learning the game is essential. luck is, after all, when preparation meets opportunity.

Double Standards 3.0

On Dec. 23 the U.S. Department of Justice reversed a 50-year-old interpretation of the 1965 Federal Wire Act, which would allow states to make their own decisions regarding online casino play, so long as it doesn’t cross state lines. Although the Wire Act disallows sports betting, the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) does allow it. This 1992 law limits sports gambling to states where it was already legal: Nevada, Delaware, Montana and Oregon. Although PASPA gave every state a time line to apply for legal sports betting, none of them made the deadline.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is making headlines as he fights to overturn PASPA, signing a bill that legalizes sports betting in New Jersey’s 12 casinos and five racetracks. Forbes quoted him as saying that PASPA violates state sovereignty. Ipso facto gambling on sports can’t be deemed immoral in one state and not in the other. He says he wants New Jersey to start raking in mega-profits by the end of the year.

Sen. Raymond J. Lesniak (D-New Jersey) is another strong backer of legalizing sports betting,   proclaiming “legalizing sports wagering recognizes the inevitable — that people are going to be on sports whether the practice is legal or not …,” he wrote in a recent Internet debate on the issue hosted by U.S. News & World Report. “By mainstreaming sports wagering, we can take some of the power away from organized crime and offshore Internet operators, and put it in the regulated hands of existing casino and racetrack operators.”

Despite the enthusiasm of sports betting’s fans, and the profit he could generate from online sports betting, Matthew Cullen, president of RocketPlay, is poised and ready for any twist or turn the law will take. Whether or not sports gambling becomes legal, Cullen has faith in the growing popularity of sports betting. SportsCasino is free to play, free to join, and offers participants all the thrill of gambling and winning with nothing to lose except a little time.

What Does This Mean for You?

New Jersey’s triumph over PASPA brings you one step closer to starting that billion dollar sports bookie business you’ve been practicing for. In many instances, it’s looking like the opposition is only furthering the pro-gamblers’ agenda.

The New Prohibition

Opponents of online gambling are singing the familiar tune of the slippery slope. Las Vegas Sands Corp. chairman Sheldon Adelson is a wealthy, outspoken example of online betting’s strong opposition. Having donated over $30 million dollars of his personal wealth to the cause, his corner contends:

“Millions of Americans suffer from problem or pathological gambling that can destroy families. We support the prohibition of gambling over the Internet and call for reversal of the Justice Department’s decision distorting the formerly accepted meaning of the Wire Act that could open the door to Internet betting.”

Many colleges, like Penn State,  concur that opening the door to sports betting to wreak havoc on the integrity and character of those involved. Many however, are quick to point out the fact that “big five” have never been beacons of character, but rather a scandal-clad profit-driven empire dripping with deceit. A Forbes.com op-ed author says that legalizing sports gambling in more states would cause a  $380-billion industry (according to International Sports Betting Association) to swell and become vulnerable to corruption. However, as evidenced by the legalization in the U.K., online sports betting remains as above-the-board fun, with little issue of corruption.

Historically, when desires of the people are divided and a legal pendulum stands poised to swing, the general populous finds a way to do what it wants. Prohibition anyone?

What Does This Mean for You?

For the sports lover with an entrepreneurial spirit, depending on how legally you’d like to operate or which side of the law you sit on, sports betting could help you build your empire—virtual or real.

Sources:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/gambling-revenues-to-soar-to-183bn-by-2015-6272441.html

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/cotown/la-et-ct-virtual-sports-betting-facebook-20120904,0,206335.story

http://www.forbes.com/sites/kylesmith/2012/08/23/legalize-sports-betting-and-let-gov-chris-christie-spike-the-football/

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/aug/13/nj-makes-constitutional-case-sports-betting/?page=all

http://www.sfgate.com/technology/article/Virtual-sports-bets-available-on-Facebook-3841056.php

http://www.lvrj.com/opinion/gop-platform-a-slap-to-nevada-168887036.html

 

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