New Jersey sports betting would help Vegas

Dec 24, 2012 3:00 AM

Last Friday U.S. District Judge Michael Shipp ruled that the joint effort of the NFL, MLB, NHL, NBA and NCAA could go forward with their suit against New Jersey to stop legalized sports betting in New Jersey.

The judge stated that the leagues had done enough studies to determine there was enough negative perception among public attitudes toward game-fixing and sports gambling to allow future litigation. The leagues were grilled about studies and, apparently, that portion of testimony regarding quality studies was retracted from public knowledge.

The bottom line is this is just another delay. The sports leagues sounded like buffoons talking about their lack of knowledge about betting on their sports. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell couldn’t recall the last time a game has been fixed and MLB Commissioner Bud Selig didn’t know if fans bet on baseball.

One of the big points, beyond citing what a help regulated sports wagering is for protecting the integrity of all wagering on their sports events, was that fantasy sports – which they support on their sites – wasn’t a bet upon event. What?

Here in Las Vegas, we’re hoping for legalized sports gambling in New Jersey. You could say, “Why do you want the competition?”

Anything positive that happens in New Jersey is good for Las Vegas. The growth of the sports betting market makes it very good for Nevada business. Because the state is regulated and there are plenty of employees around the state following the rules, there will be plenty of job offers for those who are currently employed in the state.

That means more job openings at the Nevada sports books.

The current companies operating within the state will have the first crack at operating books in New Jersey, if it becomes legal, which brings more financial windfall into the state operated companies that would be setting up business there.

But the bigger picture is the effect of New Jersey being allowed to operate a book. 

Between taxed revenue coming in to their state, and other states now following precedent, there will be more operations following. The only way they can get their foot on the ground is by having a real bookmaker from a licensed book in Nevada get them going.

No one is going to hire an off-shore bookmaker – although many are very accomplished, they are all going to have to come from Nevada. The trickle-down effect will be a boom for Nevadans to make director and vice-president salaries. Right now, there are only so many positions in the state that can offer that.

Long term, Nevada companies such as MGM Resorts, Station Casinos, Caesars Entertainment, Boyd Gaming, Wynn Resorts and South Point will all be ahead of the game when, and if, the outdated Wire Act restricting interstate wagering is repealed. These companies already have the on-line set-up to turn the switch on to “go-time” when it becomes a reality. 

All the money wagered within those companies across state lines will stay in Nevada, and those numbers would mean billions to the state economy.

So just to get the ball rolling for future legislation in other states, New Jersey is a big deal to Nevada.

Micah Roberts is a former Las Vegas race and sports book director, and longtime motorsports columnist and sports analyst at GamingToday. Contact Micah at [email protected].

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