New Jersey Sports Betting Thorn in US Sports Leagues' Eye

A reputable columnist Tim Dahlberg analyzed the litigation between U.S. major sports leagues and the state of New Jersey, which wants to overturn the PASPA and run its own sports betting facilities.

In his opinion, Dahlberg pointed out that there are only four states where sportsbetting is legally allowed by PASPA, which has brought about illegal bookies who operate throughout the USA and from offshore, but left the integrity of the National Football League intact.

"There's not a whiff of scandal, not a reason to suspect anything might be amiss. That's what makes the reaction of America's biggest sports leagues to attempts to legalize sports betting in New Jersey so laughable,' he said, adding:

"From the NFL to the NBA, they're united against efforts by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to sidestep a federal ban and allow wagering on games. The NCAA has joined the fight in a federal court in Newark, and baseball Commissioner Bud Selig seems to take it as a personal affront."

According to Dahlberg, there's a lot of contradiction in the leagues' way of thinking: "They see gambling on their games as a threat cooked up in a back room somewhere by shady criminals just waiting for the chance to blackmail a troubled quarterback and fix the outcome of games.

"Somehow, though, London - which has at least one betting parlor on every major street - managed to hold an entire Olympics without any problems, while offering bets on everything from Usain Bolt winning the 100 to Michael Phelps getting seven golds.

"The NFL, meanwhile, hosts a game in London every year and hasn't complained yet about fans being able to bet their favorite on their way to the stadium.

"There's nothing more immoral about it than betting on the stock market. Nothing more criminal than cashing in on your fantasy league's pot of cash."

He also claims that any attempt to fix a game will be discovered by the experienced and legal bookies that track every dollar on every game. In his article, Dahlberg also referred to the words of Joe Asher, head of US operations for UK bookie giant William Hill plc, who stated:

"It defies common sense that somehow the leagues are better off and the world is a better place where hundreds of billions are being wagered illegally.

"The idea that it is of benefit to a league when their fans are wagering with criminals rather than having a system where sports betting is regulated and run by honorable people who have undergone thorough investigation is ridiculous."

Furthermore, he noted that the NFL has seen much benefit from legal sports betting, and that the betting line is always featured in all discussions that lead up to a big game, being a part of the fabric of big-time sports.

The leagues' problem with the New Jersey initiative is that they would not get a cut of the profitable cake themselves, while the legislation, if successful, would bring profit to legal sports book operators and the state of New Jersey in shape of the taxes it collects on the bets.

"About the only ones who won't make money are the leagues themselves, at least not directly. Unlike almost everything else they're involved with, they won't get a cut of the action.

"That means millions - and potentially billions - of dollars going into someone else's pockets.

"And maybe that's the real reason why they protest so loud," Dahlberg concluded.

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