Here’s the word from a member of Nevada’s Gaming Control Board: look for competition in legal sports betting. From the LV Sun:
Nevada will face competition for race and sports books, a state gaming regulator predicts.“The most pent-up demand is for sports wagering,” state Gaming Control Board member Randall Sayre told more than 60 lawyers at the 2009 Gaming Law Conference sponsored by the State Bar of Nevada.Sayre made his remarks Nov. 6 at the Rio. The event included a keynote presentation by American Gaming Association President and CEO Frank Fahrenkopf and several panels on legal and regulatory issues in the gaming industry.Sayre said as more states struggle to develop revenue sources, some will look to race and sports books as a solution.“It’s about competition, competition and more competition,” Sayre said in response to a question about which issues will be prominent in the future. “There will be intense revenue pressures, more than we’ve ever seen before. The profound impact of competition on the state is not going to go away.”Nevada, the only state to offer legal wagering on sports, nearly got its first competition this year when Delaware proposed allowing sports bets at racinos. The move was blocked by 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals when the National Football League, Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association and NCAA filed a motion in opposition.Delaware was one of four states — the others are Oregon, Montana and New Jersey — that were exempt from legislation banning sports wagering in the United States, one of the last bills sponsored by former New Jersey Sen. Bill Bradley, who played professional basketball before getting into politics.The four states had an exemption because they had lottery games tied to professional football results.Sports betting accounts for just 1 percent of the total gaming win in Nevada every year.
Before I opine, I’d like to point out that under PASPA New Jersey is not allowed to offer sports betting. That’s why NJ state senator Ray Lesniak is working to challenge PASPA.
Also, as the article notes, Delaware is not able to offer straight-up point spread betting on single games, thanks to the 3rd Circuit Court decision.
But where there’s a political will there’s usually a legal way, and the large illegal sports betting market is too tempting a target for state governments to hold off for long. I’d look for continued challenges to PASPA that will eventually succeed.
If Nevadans should learn one thing from the history of gambling, it’s that they shouldn’t be complacent or secure with a legal monopoly on sports betting. Once the casino monopoly seemed even more secure, and that’s long gone.