New Jersey needs to proceed with caution

May 15, 2018 3:00 AM

Ever since the legalization of sports betting in New Jersey on Monday, I have received more texts, phone calls and media requests than I do during the Super Bowl. However, what most people do not realize is the ruling may not really be as beneficial as you would think to sports betting professionals such as myself.

First of all, it will be the same corporations here in Nevada (who already have a foothold in the industry) that will be running sports betting in New Jersey. There may be a new book or two in Atlantic City eventually, but the bulk of the betting will be handled by the big boys here in town.

One of the ways it may benefit guys like me here in Nevada, is if the square money that is bet in Jersey affects the odds here. In other words, if the money that is bet back east would cause line movement here. If so much money is bet on teams like the New York Yankees, then the books would be forced to get two-way action, and therefore, make the price on the opponents more appetizing.

I spend quite a bit of time in NJ, including most of my summers. It will be nice to be able to go on a sports betting app and place wagers, whereas normally, I am shut out back there.

Sadly, there is more to this story though. It is now 2018, and growing up a teenager these days it is much tougher than any prior generation. The peer pressure of drugs, alcohol and gambling in many forms is already taking place in New Jersey with the lottery, horse racing, poker and casino games.

Well, what do most kids do growing up back east? We play sports from the time we can hit a T-ball until high school football. We idolize our sports heroes on TV every day and watch SportsCenter at night.

Sports betting has gone mainstream and ESPN talks about it every day. I myself have been interviewed dozens of times on ESPN and Sports betting is a hard way to make an easy living and I don’t want this next generation of kids in New Jersey (and the surrounding areas) to think they can beat it by watching TV and reading a newspaper.

That being said, I just hope this will be done in a responsible manner in New Jersey, and the thought process of policing this is not lost in the shuffle.