The Supreme Court has given the go-ahead on sports betting on a state-by-state level. In other words, each state will be able to decide whether or not it will allow sports betting. Naturally there will be a divided opinion. There will be those who rejoice and those who see it as a step in the wrong direction.
Quite frankly, I’m not surprised. Sports betting has brought the integrity of sport into question, which is why there is dissent around this topic. On the other hand, now that the ban has been lifted, it means that something that’s been in the dark can now be exposed to the light and be fully regulated, and that’s good news for everyone. It’s not going to happen overnight either. Yes, stock in certain gaming corporations has risen, and a couple of states already have laws in place and are ready to move ahead. But from the looks of things, many states don’t have anything lying in wait and others are vehemently against it.
So, why isn’t everyone gunning for it?
Well, outside of the fact that each state would have to submit some kind of regulatory framework, there’s also the fact that the integrity of sport can come into question. To use but one example, look at cricket. Once renowned for its gentlemanly demeanour, it now bears the brunt of match-fixing, a form of illegal betting with similarities to point-shaving. People still love it and it still gets a lot of attention, but fans are now quick to question any sudden changes in player performance. That’s what match fixing did and that’s what point-shaving has also done. At the same time, we need to accept the fact that gambling is quite entrenched in society and human nature. The concept of gambling goes back thousands of years. Most ancient cultures had some form of it. Heck, state lotteries helped build the Great Wall of China and to sponsor America’s War of Independence.
So here’s the thing; it’s hard to outright ban gambling in all its forms – bookmaking, land-based casinos, casinos online, etc. Banning it doesn’t get rid of it, it simply drives it underground and into questionable hands. There’s a cycle to things, or a natural series of steps. Like most processes, all steps have to be taken and completed. None can be skipped over. The cycle I’m referring to is the road to legislation and legalisation. If you’re wondering where I’m going with all of this, allow me just a little more time to unpack it. So people want to gamble, but lawmakers and those concerned about the possible social ills aren’t in approval, thus making sure that it gets banned. After it gets banned, it finds its way into the hands of people eager to fill the void. As the characters filling the void are somewhat frowned upon by society, anti-gambling legislation is passed, driving the scene further underground. This creates the belief that complete prohibition isn’t achievable, after which general acceptance by the public occurs. At this point, laws get enacted and regulation occurs.
The Supreme Court’s Decision
The Supreme Court of America’s recent decision to undo a 1992 federal law means that regulatory practices can be implemented and sports betting can be managed correctly in that country. The technology and the facilities are already doing well in other parts of the world where online sports betting enjoys immense popularity. In fact, the majority of today’s sports betting takes place online at established operators like Spin Palace Sports. Through proper regulation, people are able to safely place wagers on the A to Z of sports while protected by a framework of ethics, rules and regulations.
It’s actually quite strange that the American market hasn’t picked up on or utilised this type of gaming, but then the US has often enacted strange, old or outdated practices, not for the worse. I just find the nation unusual in some ways. They banned alcohol for 13 years during what was called Prohibition, and despite the nation’s love of gambling, they outlawed online gaming back in 2006 – something many Americans have continued to pursue at websites that will still service their market. In terms of the future, all we can do now is wait to see what happens. The lifting of the ban is but a stepping stone to what could be regulated in future for the whole of the United States.