You Can Bet On It

Legalized sports betting beneficial for sports fans


In the wake of the Supreme Court’s 6-3 decision in Murphy vs. NCAA, sports fans might not have to travel to Las Vegas to find a sports book like this one photographed in Las Vegas in November 2010. Photo by Baishampayan Ghose. Access through Flickr Creative Commons. Republished with permission.

Steven Tibbetts, Tibbetts' Tidbits

Public opinion was divided the few days after the Supreme Court put an end to a federal law that prohibited sports betting in almost all stated. Because of the decision, states will now have the opportunity to legalize sports betting. For the most part, people who actually want to bet on sports or already do were happy with the decision, while those who aren’t bettors and don’t want to be were disappointed by the Supreme Court ruling.

Overall, though, legalized sports betting would be a win for sports leagues and all their fans, not just the ones who would like to participate in sports betting.

The most common argument against legalizing sports betting is that it will harm the integrity of sports. Many people are worried that when more money is on the line, it will encourage players to throw games or refs to make calls in favor of a certain team.

Tax revenue from legalized sports betting could give states billions of dollars.

In actuality, though, it will do the opposite, as it will actually make it harder for games to be rigged without people noticing. Unlike with the illegal betting that goes on right now, legalized sports betting will allow people to monitor any suspicious trends in where bets are falling leading up to or during a game. This transparency will greatly discourage any attempt to alter the results of a game because of betting interests.

There are many other reasons to be glad that sports betting is now on the cusp of being legal in many states. Would anybody like to pay less in taxes? Tax revenue from legalized sports betting could give states billions of dollars. Sports betting could also grow the popularity of sports in America, which is something every sports fan can appreciate. Even if that popularity is only based on people wanting to make money, it would still be nice to see more people following sports.

If people want to bet on sports even though it’s not a smart investment, then good for them.

On top of possibly adding new sports fans into the world, betting is another way sports enthusiasts can enjoy their passion. And I think it is OK that the deck is stacked against sports bettors. If the sports bettor decides that the entertainment value gained from betting is worth the money they will inevitably be losing in the end, then they should be allowed to bet.

Sports betting isn’t like the tobacco companies that failed to inform their users that tobacco causes a lot of health problems. The fact that betting on sports is not a smart investment shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone, but if people want to bet anyways, then good for them.

I don’t have to be the one losing money to still be able to enjoy the widespread benefits of legalized sports betting.