Is the State of Florida Home of the NCAA’s Sports Betting Office?
Sports betting has been legal in the United States since its inception, and it is not a new phenomenon. Historically, millions of Americans place wagers on sporting events each week. In fact, sports betting is among the most popular hobbies in the country. Historically, Americans have shown a strong appetite for sport and games, whether it is football baseball, basketball, ice hockey or soccer. Sports betting is not new to the United States.
In 20 reserved periods, the NCAA has allowed intercollegiate athletic competition to take place. Currently, eighteen states provide legal sports betting. Of these states, eight – New Jersey, West Virginia, Iowa, Mississippi, Rhode Island, California, Montana, and Oregon} allow legal wagering at the state level. Several additional states are considering legislation to legalize sports betting. Two upcoming elections feature an athlete-friendly agenda, and some speculate that these two propositions could propel incumbent governor Jerry Brown (D CA) into a second term. Both bids are expected to be on the November ballot.
Two state lawmakers introduced bills this spring that seek to legalize sports betting in California and Massachusetts. Both lawmakers expect the proposal to be passed by the legislature during the upcoming legislative session. It appears likely that the efforts will gain momentum. Sportsbooks across the nation are gearing up for another spirited battle between advocates and regulation proponents. As the deadline for the legislative session looms, sportsbook operators have already put forward several concession plans that they anticipate the new legislation will cover.
In January, the California State Legislature passed a bill (AB 1396) that authorizes the state’s Department of Finance to set up rules and guidelines for licensed sports betting across the state. The new regulation would establish a licensed sports gambling license for anyone who holds a gambling license in another state. Proponents hope the new law will spur growth and increase gambling revenues in the Golden State. The proposed regulations would also protect California gambling from being influenced by political influences. However, the Governor said he is reviewing the implications of legalized sports wagering in California and has “no immediate comment” on the proposal.
If approved in California, the first legal sports betting would take place at the state’s first casino resort. The California Resort Gaming Commission is expected to file a formal business plan by July 1, with the implementation date contingent on the outcome of the bill’s passage. If the bill passes, sports books would be allowed to start offering wagering to players within an extended period of time, according to the commission’s plan. The first legal sports bets will take place at a new location and designated by the owners of the land (the gaming facility). According to the commission’s plan, the first legal sports bets would take place on the California State Athletic Association’s (SDCA) basketball, baseball, football and soccer tournaments beginning in 2021.
Opponents of the regulation, which passed in committee in January, fear that it will create a favored few within the state who can bet without competition or transparency. The National Collegiate Athletic Association is one of the largest collegiate organizations in the United States, operating 20 sports programs and paying millions of dollars in player fees and marketing deals each year. The NCAA already allows sports betting, but only at its four home conferences. The organization is expected to consider whether to allow betting across all schools within the next two years.
Proponents argue that the number of licensed sports books and casinos (as of July 31, 2021) should remain at current levels, allowing the public to enjoy this service without any additional regulations. However, the proposal does not require the number of licensed casinos to remain at current levels. Rather, it requires that the number of games offered by the Regulated Sports Wagering Commission (RWC) be at an acceptable level to “promote and develop” the games and increase “public awareness and participation.”
Should the gaming commission adopt the amendment, it will be interesting to see if it enacts a number of additional measures to increase the available games, such as sports betting games played outside of the state. Currently, there are no laws governing that. Opponents argue that the lack of a regulating body increases the likelihood that “entertainment” investors will take advantage of the newly legalized gambling and bet on games that they are not familiar with or not very well experienced in. The increasing number of cities, college and professional sports programs throughout the country might play into this concern. The ability for “unseen” investors to make more money has been called into question in regards to the lack of a centralized regulating body for the industry.