Should Sports Betting be Legal Everywhere

From the excitement of winning a small bet among friends to exhilaration of winning big on a gambling site. Betting and specifically sports betting is an international industry and is an industry making 400 billion dollars a year worldwide according to Statista (Fuller). Sports betting is a way to enhance our enjoyment to our favorite sports and a way to get a little money, but as it continues to grow and change with the times and technology its negative and life destroying aspects grow and change as well. So the question is, Should sports betting be legal everywhere.

Sports betting has an ancient and storied history. According to Frixo.com in “ The History of Sports Betting” it tells how sports betting has probably existed before even historical records and was there for as long as competitions has existed (Frixo). But when talking about how sports betting became big and popular its tells how much credit can go to Greece where, with its fame as the birthplace of the Olympics, viewing in viewing stands people would wager in viewing stands (Frixo). For the Roman they would bet in Rome at chariot races and the circus told Sports Ecyclopedia in “The History of Sports Betting” (sportsecyclopedia). In the world today, sports betting is still growing and expanding and with the National Review in “Punter’s Paradise, Coming to America” explaining how the US Supreme Court has essentially allowed states to legalize sports gambling in almost all states in the United States due to them striking down a federal law that prevented that (Dougherty).

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The argument for and against the sports gambling starts in the US where it just became a possible thing to legalize. People for gambling claim that if legalized the revenue and taxes gained from betting would go to fund the parties involved like the sport leagues and the government that would go to help other things. In “Our New Reality: The Pros and Cons of Sports Betting.” by Silas Tsang it informs how thirteen states have gotten in total 34 billion from gambling and explains that in New Jersey that their revenue from gambling goes to senior citizens and schools while in Pennsylvania with only a two percent tax it gets 3.16 billion that it uses to reduce taxes and wage reduction(Tsang). Is also told how the NBA ,National Basketball Association, wants one percent of gambling profit from the state’s revenue, about 2 billion in total, in order to fund oversight personnel to prevent match fixing with gambling providing more money that might endanger the integrity of the sport(Tsang). Opponents to gambling claim that gambling would however endanger the integrity of sport and enable people with addictions to gambling. In the same article by Tsang the NCAA, National Collegiate Athletic Association, is dealing with a controversy with Adidas(Tsang). Where according to CNBC the FBI arrested coaches and Adidas representatives for bribery during recruitment(Thomas). This according to Tsang brings questions of “ How will the NCAA, for instance, regulate sports betting after it’s been shown through recent controversies that it has had a lot of trouble regulating the basic tenets of amateurism?” and with good reason as influencing a youth desperate to pay for college would be easy using money from an industry that makes millions to billions(Tsang). In an article from ESPN titled “Gambling Issue: Five voices debating sports gambling legalization” Justin Wolfers, an economist and professor teaching at the University of Michigan, explains that if legalized the leagues and casinos with money and lobbyists they would lobby for their self interest not the people and compulsive gamblers that would suffer most from gambling(Wolfers). These points show the ups and downs of the US legalizing sports betting, but for other countries sports betting has been legalized for many years in a limited manner and they have pros and cons of their own to show if legalization in a positive or negative for those affected.

The second country that will show arguments for and against sports betting is India. The argument for legalization is that it would reduce crimes and other things illegal gambling profit funds. According to PLAwYERed in “Why India Needs s Regulation on Betting?” by Tejaswini Ranjan he informs how bookmakers right now use income from illegal sports betting to fuel smuggling, drug running, and terrorist activities and explains that if legalized could regulate and be able to account for the large sums of money going into illegal activities and reduce crime with that knowledge helping the public as a whole if legalized (Ranjan). This shows how legalization would hurt crime syndicates and terrorist, protecting society as a whole and a major reason to open up sports betting even more in India. Opponents of legalization argues that legalizing would corrupt the integrity of sports involved and affects the common man the most negatively. This is explained by Civil Service India in “Should Gambling Be Legalized?” where match fixing will rise as players will the influence to play a certain way for money and if not doing so purposely in the back of their minds the possibility of money and other benefits will be in the back of their minds influencing them (Civil Service India). It also describes the way legalization make betting more attracting to the everyday person to spend their money and asks to imagine the consequences of a person with little money to begin with losing all they had (Civil Service India). These show the temptations a human being, who can make mistakes, would have to deal with and possibly fall for if legalization passed and the need some would argue for the government should protect vulnerable citizens from. The pros and cons of show the benefits and cost India would have if they update their laws on sports betting, however, for the UK, where Sports betting is already fully legal, the pros and cons is more obvious and convincing.

The third country to find pros and cons in in the United Kingdom.Where the argument for is that legalization will lessen wrongdoing and illegal bookies. This is told in ESPN’s “ Gambling Issue: Five voices debating sports gambling legalization” by CEO of UK sportsbook Joe Asher that letting sports betting out into the open would take down a large part of illegal betting websites and bookmakers and tell that match fixing would go down instead as legal bookies would alert the authorities and tells that this is done already in the UK and Nevada and tells of how a scandal in the 90s because of legal bookmakers reporting it (Asher). This shows that legalization would again address the major concern of legalization of corrupting the integrity of sports how bookies would police themselves and not just the government or sport leagues. Opponent though would disagree that match fixing would still be an issue even with legalization. Match fixing is discussed in Independent’s “Exclusive: Gambling Is ‘Bigger Threat to Sport than Doping’.” by Nick Harris where it is reported that when written “In the past 17 months, the industry watchdog the Gambling Commission has investigated 47 cases of alleged match-fixing and illegal betting on British sporting events,” showing that even with legalization that match fixing still happens and frequently even with rules in place to avoid it as told of how some players aren’t allowed to bet on their own games (Harris). These pros and cons show how the UK has dealt with sports betting and the effects of its legalization as well as arguments for and against.

In conclusion, sports betting is a very interesting topic that has its positives and negatives. With its positives being it more money for leagues and governments to spend, lessen crime that illegal gambling funds, and reduce the match fixing in the betting scene. And negatives being mainly being affects it might have on the public and addictiveness, along with the possible corrupting of and collapse of ethics and integrity of sports being bet upon. For me, betting is entertainment for people and should be legalized and regulation for all involved would be best. And in my experience betting with family in small games is just harmless fun that just makes you care for the game you like more.

Works Cited

  1. blackrabbit636. “The Pros And Cons Of Sports Gambling.” Harrys Tap Room, 10 Nov. 2018, www.harrystaproom.com/pros-cons-sports-gambling/.
  2. Dougherty, Brendan, and Michael Brendan Dougherty. “Punter’s Paradise, Coming to America.” National Review, National Review, 17 May 2018, www.nationalreview.com/2018/05/sports-betting-legal-status-pros-cons-sports-society/.
  3. Fuller, Steve. “Topic: Sports Betting.” Statista, www.statista.com/topics/1740/sports-betting/.
  4. Harris, Nick. “Exclusive: Gambling Is ‘Bigger Threat to Sport than Doping’.” The Independent, Independent Digital News and Media, 23 Oct. 2011, www.independent.co.uk/sport/general/others/exclusive-gambling-is-bigger-threat-to-sport-than-doping-1638487.html.
  5. History of Sports Betting, sportsecyclopedia.com/tank/tank/bettinghistory.html.
  6. “The History of Sports Betting.” Frixo – Motorway Traffic Reports, www.frixo.com/sbook/articles/history-of-sports-betting.asp.
  7. Ranjan, Tejaswini. “WHY INDIA NEEDS A REGULATION ON BETTING?” PLAwYERed, 26 July 2015, plawyered.wordpress.com/2015/07/26/why-india-needs-a-regulation-on-betting/.
  8. “Should Gambling Be Legalized?” Quality Management, Quality Management System, Quality Management Definition, www.civilserviceindia.com/current-affairs/articles/should-gambling-be-legalized.html.
  9. SilasTsang. “Our New Reality: The Pros and Cons of Sports Betting.” State of The U, State of The U, 23 May 2018, www.stateoftheu.com/2018/5/23/17367120/miami-hurricanes-new-reality-the-pros-cons-sports-betting-power-five-disparity-addiction-money-ncaa.
  10. Thomas, Lauren. “FBI Arrests NCAA Basketball Coaches and Adidas Rep in Bribery Probe Involving Recruitment.” CNBC, CNBC, 26 Sept. 2017, www.cnbc.com/2017/09/26/ncaa-basketball-officials-arrested-on-fraud-and-corruption-charges.html.
  11. “Wagering on the Future.” ESPN, ESPN Internet Ventures, 3 Feb. 2015, www.espn.com/chalk/story/_/id/12251828/gambling-issue-charles-barkley-five-voices-debating-sports-gambling-legalization.
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