The sports wagering industry has an interesting opportunity to guide its own fate, but as there is no true unifying voice within the industry, it is ill prepared to speak or negotiate with the leagues or conferences, both amateur and professional, to come to a mutually beneficial deal. Absent a unified position by this industry the door is wide open for any range of future twists and turns that would make a spaghetti bowl look organized by comparison.
In looking at public statements by the major leagues and noting their power in both Washington and over their own brands and information, it should not be ignored that it looks like the NBA will end up as a part-owner of Paddy Power Betfair, a powerhouse bookmaking operation from Ireland. It is not hard to guess how the professional leagues will likely play their side of the game.
First off, all the leagues would prefer a national standard rather than each state having its own set of rules, regulations, taxes and acceptable business practices. Second, the leagues would like a unification of information reporting to the leagues to protect the integrity of the leagues – they would certainly like to know if their players, coaches, owners and referees are betting on their own games, particularly if they are betting against their own team.
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Gaming Today’s The Analyst is an experienced gaming industry executive who offers insight each week on events and issues affecting the industry. The Analyst’s opinions are his own and may not reflect those of Sports Handle.