A regulatory framework could help US sports teams boost their finances after the legalisation of sports betting.
US.- May 2018 will go down as one of the most important months for gambling in the United States, as the Supreme Court ruled in favour of lifting the federal ban on sports betting, therefore opening the doors to a potential US$150 billion industry. Sports teams are welcoming the decision as it could bring benefits to their finances.
Professional sports leagues have been lobbying for a fee in the sports betting business for a few months. While leaders have historically opposed the idea of a legalised sports betting market in the United States, they recently changed their stance after numerous industry experts estimated that the Supreme Court would overturn the federal ban.
The leagues are seeking an integrity fee that would let them benefit from the growing industry, and a possible regulatory framework would also give sports teams a share of the winnings. Media consultant Lee Berke said that the legalisation of sports betting enhances the value of every piece of content of a game.
Peter Schwartz, a valuations expert and consultant at Anderson Economic Group in New York, told Bloomberg that team owners can expect a boost. “The primary driver would be the potential revenue that leagues could generate from becoming business partners with gaming corporations,” he said and suggested that teams might share revenue as they do with media money.
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban told CNBC Monday: “I think everybody who owns top-four professional sports team just basically saw the value of their team double at least. It feels good. It could finally become fun to go to a baseball game again.”
Washington Wizards and Capitals majority owner and CEO of Monumental Sports and Entertainment Ted Leonsis released a statement through his website after the ruling and said that making sports betting legal could produce a safer environment for sports fans to place bets.
“Many ask if this decision will impact the integrity of sports themselves. I think it’s just the opposite. I think that the increased transparency that will accompany more legalised betting around the country will only further protect against potential corruption. They say sunlight is the best disinfectant, and in this case, I believe that is certainly true,” Leonsis said.
The Wizards owner insisted that there are a number of questions about how the legalisation will play out across different states and throughout the different sports leagues, but that he believes that “this is a new frontier for professional sports and teams who don’t seize on this opportunity will be left behind,” adding: “Legalized sports betting will only bring fans closer to the game, ramping up the action in each minute and creating more intensity. It will bring new revenue into the economy, creating jobs and growing our tax base. Today’s decision is a great one for sports fans and I am eager to embrace it.”