A massive gamechanger came down the pipeline Monday as the Supreme Court legalized sports betting across the United States of America.
While lifting the ban on gambling throughout the U.S.A. will provide a significant economic impact for individual states, it also has the opportunity to make sports leagues a lot of serious coin.
It has not taken too long for the NHL’s executives to realize the serious monetary upside to this ruling.
Sam Carchidi of The Inquirer reported that Washington Capitals’ owner Ted Leonsis believes that the decision can help grow interest in sports.
“[Legalized sports gambling will] change the face of sports fandom for the better,” the team owner stated. “[It will] bring fans closer to the game, ramping up the action in each minute and creating more intensity.”
One issue regarding the latest ruling is that the players themselves could have easier access to possibly bet on games. However, Flyers General Manager Ron Hextall told Carchidi does not think an issue will occur.
“I can’t imagine it’s going to have any effect on our players,” Hextall said. “They go out and play hockey. We have good people, so I can’t imagine that it will affect them at all.”
After the ruling was handed down, the NHL released their own statement regarding the newest change to sports gambling in the U.S.A.
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) May 14, 2018
The NHL, much like the other major sports leagues in North America, are venturing into unknown waters. While it does offer a chance for the leagues to make a lot of money, local books may likely run into the same issue Las Vegas has encountered with the Golden Knights.
Although the team has been an amazing asset to the community, sports books in Nevada have come down with their own sort of ‘Vegas flu.’
Jay Kornegay, the vice president of race and sports operations at the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook told Jesse Granger of the Las Vegas Sun that “futures bets on the Golden Knights to win it all are the biggest liability ever.” Apparently, the hockey team’s Stanley Cup odds reached heights of 500-to-1 during the pre-season. And of course, in the unlikeliest of scenarios, the club currently poses the second-best odds to win the Cup.
This issue has great potential to occur once people can easily place wagers on local teams, making it hard for local bookkeepers to balance their books.
Leagues best positioned to cash in on legalized sports gambling as judged by the their openness to it (in order):
4. PGA Tour
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) May 14, 2018
According to Darren Rovell, the NHL is among the most hesitant of leagues when it comes to cashing in on legalized sports gambling. So while the NBA and MLB are on the more progressive side of the spectrum, it is unlikely that the NHL will undergo the same effects as all other major sports leagues in North America.
The results of the new ruling will be seen shortly as the first bets could be placed within weeks of the decision. While the NHL’s acceptance is not expected to occur as accelerated as others, the early reports from league executives offer a positive outlook surrounding the rapidly drastic changes to sports gambling and the National Hockey League.