Bet on gold rush to California for sports bettors

Bet on gold rush to California for sports bettors

May 29, 2018 3:09 AM


It takes zero experience to bet sports.

I should know. I’ve been betting sports for over 50 years.

Sports betting is one of the most entertaining forms of gambling that offers both an adrenaline rush and a chance to win. Now, with the possibility of sports betting sweeping across America, it’s a game changer for many parts of this country.

Thanks to former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie for taking the case for states’ rights to the Supreme Court, resulting in a 6 to 3 decision reversing a long-standing federal law banning sports betting. States now can decide if they want legal sports betting.

I have spent millions personally on becoming an expert on sports betting and the social behaviors that surround it.

My dream used to be to retire to Las Vegas and spend it in the sportsbook (my dream is my wife’s nightmare). But now that dream can come true in California if sports betting is legalized in the Golden State. This could be the next gold rush.

The San Diego area would be a perfect place for sports betting as it would stem the flow of local players from going across the border to bet in Tijuana, Mexico. Sports bettors will increase the horse racing industry handle by the millions if not billions nationwide because sports betting and horse racing go hand-in-hand.

Sports franchises from major to minor leagues, from soccer to billiards could also be big winners.

I have always said if you could not bet on the NBA, it would fade away, and it looks like Adam Silver, the commissioner, understands that. The NBA was the first major sports league to change its long anti-gambling stance. Fantasy sports is also a big winner in this ruling.

The biggest winner of all will be the sports bettor. They can finally step out of the shadows and gray areas of the past hundred years. A safe and regulated industry for sports betting fans, including strong consumer protections, will transform the gaming landscape in this country.

Imagine going to a Los Angeles Dodgers game and betting on them at the stadium. Talk about fan excitement. Or betting on play-by-play on your phone watching the game live with in-game wagering.

The West, East Coast and South could all be potential winners. Gamblers will go to other casino games when the ball games are over to try and get even or play with their winnings.

I see sports betting potential in marketing the casino property and the windfall it will provide. From a marketing standpoint, it’s tremendous for any casino.

If and when sports betting goes online, the sky’s the limit for revenue. I personally feel online betting will hurt brick-and-mortar casinos. That is a whole other debate, but to me it’s simple math. Casino’s need traffic for jobs and expansion.

For example, if a casino opens a large sportsbook in a Palm Springs casino, they would need at least 400 more staff to accommodate guests in providing food and beverage. In addition, that could lead to a surge in hiring from valet to security. If you allow internet sports betting, then those 400 new jobs would drop to only 50 employees.

The biggest loser could be the state of Nevada, which stands to lose millions of customers, especially from California. Casinos in Nevada may have to reconsider the resort and parking fees Californians so detest.

Bookmakers and illegal sports betting sites may still exist because they offer credit and you can bet on the phone or in the comfort of your home. They would be hurt if casinos offer sports betting on the cellphones and the internet.

Sports betting can be a dream come true for millions and is long overdue in the gaming industry. But there is a dark side to it. Problem gambling will increase ten-fold, so that needs to be anticipated when states pass new sport betting laws.

The big challenge in California will be who will take your bets and where you can bet. The horse racing industry and casinos plus card clubs need to unite on this issue to make it legal as soon as possible.

If all the entities with an interest in introducing sports betting to the state of California can come to an agreement, I expect to be able to place my first sports bet in my home state in 2020.