Will Online Sports Gambling Boom Under Biden?

(STL.News) Daily fantasy sports paved the way for mainstream acceptance of sports betting as we know it today.  Before DraftKings and FanDuel made DFS a golden child, sports betting was its shadowy uncle castigated and ostracized by North American professional sports leagues, particularly the National Football League.

The public disclaimers, put out by one NFL commissioner after another, were along the lines of sports betting would not be tolerated because it could impeach the integrity of the league.  Any implication of a fixed outcome would be the death knell not only for the NFL but any professional sports league.  And while that is undeniably true, the amount of money being made by the athletes is so extraordinary that it would be impossible to pay any of them off to fix a game.  Bookmaking on every corner in England has been available forever, and hardly do we ever hear of a betting scandal involving the Premier League.

The NFL, NHL, MLB, and NBA are all aware sports betting only serves their purpose, not imperils it, yet, because betting on the NFL is the people’s choice, it was the likes of commissioners Paul Tagliabue and Roger Goodell whose dissenting voices were heard the loudest despite the fact that the NFL’s soaring ratings are hugely impacted by the betting that takes place on every single game throughout the NFL season.  It was hypocrisy at its most outrageous, but now that the NFL has hooked up with DraftKings, the pretense has become so transparent that it appears Goodell could be done with the charade.

When the Supreme Court overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA) in 2018, the dam had broken, and individual states were granted the right to allow sports betting within their boundaries, whether it be brick and mortar or online.  And at just about the same time, the NFL allowed the Raiders to move from Oakland to Vegas, which put Goodell’s public position regarding sports betting being verboten so at odds with what was transpiring within and outside of his organization that it was nothing short of ludicrous.

And now that there are several states up and running with online sports betting platforms and books housed within horse racing tracks and casinos, betting on sports has been taken out of the shadows and into the mainstream.  And one would have to believe that having a liberal president in office, Joe Biden, would be more beneficial to the cause than a stodgy, old conservative.

The former administration under Donald Trump sought to bolster the outdated Wire Act of 1961 and have it apply to online gaming as well.  But that was never a chief priority, and now that the regime is out of office, we could see Biden’s camp more proactive in regards to being an advocate for a free market as it relates to online gambling.

If you are a sports bettor, there isn’t a better time to be alive.  The options are plentiful, whether it be homegrown sportsbooks or those offshore concerns that have been a staple of the sports betting market for well over two decades.  And with more options comes more opportunity to not only place a wide variety of wagers on sporting events all over the world, but it also allows those fond of using arbitrage betting calculator to gain access to more sites so they can swap, hedge, and make money between the advantageous differences in the lines they get.

And because of the new boom in betting, which has been accelerated by the internet, the attorney generals that will work at the pleasure of this Democratic president will be much more inclined to live and let live regarding the public’s insatiable appetite for online gambling.

Perhaps tax and compliance attorney, Matt Belenky, wrote it best earlier this year on jurist.org when he said, “The gaming, sports betting, and lottery industries represent tens of billions of dollars in revenue across the United States.  The stakes, literally, couldn’t be any higher. Yet, that doesn’t mean determining the plausibility of the Wire Act will be first priority for President-elect Biden once he takes office.

“In observing the few words, Biden has said with regards to the Wire Act and his stance on online betting in general, there’s reason to be optimistic that the Wire Act will likely be overturned and that the New Hampshire decision from 2019 will be upheld by the Appeals Court.  In following long-time blue state decisions in recent years to legalize online betting in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and now in New York, the momentum could only serve as a positive in getting fellow Democrat Biden to also buy-in and “get with the times,” so to speak.

“The Wire Act was created at a time when the internet didn’t exist, and the thought of having such tech-savvy capabilities of the present wasn’t even considered.  In realizing this fact and coming to terms with the positives that online gambling may bring by creating billions of dollars in tax revenue for local economies, the decision looks rather clear. After all, the times, well, they are a-changin’.”