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Legalizing Sports Betting

Tim Tebow, love him or hate him, draws attention.  Station Casinos in Las Vegas have jumped into the action, posting a NFL player Proposition bet (Prop) of Over/Under 2½ TDs scored by Tim Tebow.  One of the great things about sports betting is if you post it, people will bet it.  

Speaking of sports betting, it continues to grow nationwide.  By my last count, 27 states have approved some form of legalized sports wagering, and all but five have either approved or have introduced legislation. The feeling is within 3-5 years, forty-plus states will have legalized sports betting.  We see it everywhere, in advertisements on TV, ballparks and arenas across the nation, and on shows on major sports networks.  There is even an arena with a legalized sports book inside.  Soon we will all be able to place wagers from inside stadiums/arenas as we watch the game.  

Let’s face it, legalized sports wagering has become main stream, and it’s about time.  

The problem I see now is each state will have their own regulations for sports wagering.  It has always amazed me that Nevada is the “gold standard” for gambling (all legalized gaming from sports to slots/table games) yet none of the other states—or federal government—have looked to Nevada to understand how they should set their regulations. 

To me it’s simple.  Nevada has done this for over 50 years facing every problematic scenario, and addressed each with regulations.  Yet state after state continue to set their own regulations without even considering Nevada.  Remember, Nevada Gaming Control protects both the guest and the casino.  

Will these other states set up their regulations to protect the guest, or will they allow their state’s sports books to dictate regulations?  

We’ve already seen problems in states where guests place wagers and the sports book decided not to honor the wager due to “human error.”  Come on, we all know mistakes happen, but if the book doesn’t catch it before selling the wagers, the mistake is on the book, so honor the wager.  I wish I could say I never put up a “bad line”, but we did honor wagers placed on them because casinos can’t have it both ways; keeping the guest’s money when the guest makes a mistake AND not paying when the book makes a mistake. 

The solution is simple, states with legalized sports wagering should allow people to bet inter-state (between different states) with their legal sports book of choice.  If someone in Florida wants to place a bet on their mobile device from a sports book in Nevada, let them.  Just make sure all the states follow the Nevada Sports Book Gaming regulations.  This way, sports books will have to be honest to all guests, providing a quality product at a fair price.  

Sports books that thrive on “ripping off the guests at every point” will be out of business. Unfortunately, there are some states currently that regulate their sports books in this manner because they have no other option.  They don’t understand that a quality product will drive additional business.  Rip people off and you will just drive them back underground to the illegal bookmakers and wonder why no one is betting sports in their state.

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