In 2018 a longstanding law in the United States of America was struck down by the US Supreme Court. There was no longer a ban on sports betting in States across the US, where only Nevada had been able to provide sports betting in the past.
New Jersey brought the case to the Supreme Court as they had been calling for permission for years to legalize sports gambling. The Supreme Court voted 6-3 in favor of allowing individual states to make their own decisions on whether to legalize sports betting withing their state.
In 1992 the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) was established to prohibit individual states from allowing gambling on sports and made Las Vegas’s sportsbooks a national commodity.
Sports betting has been a divisive issue for a while in the US with one side concerned that it will lead to more people gambling by promoting it more and damaging the integrity of the sports. Though the opposition to this is that many people are already betting illegally on sports and the government should allow it and tax it in order to provide further income to each individual state.
There have long been the concerns raised in sports gambling of the affects it has on the integrity of sport. There have been notable cases of match fixing within sports that has come through the organization and aim of winning money through gambling.
In 1994, Benny Silman began a bookmaking scheme with the help of Arizona State University star player Stevin (Hedake) Smith. The role Smith played was to ensure he kept his team from covering the spread in which Silman, Smith and a number of accomplices were able to make huge amounts of money until their scheme came crashing down.
This concern has its validity with those who feel legalizing sports betting could continue to raise future issues similar to that in Arizona.
The other side of the coin though would be that the sportsbooks who were used in Nevada were networking with each other and were able to notify law enforcement when they noticed a possible point shaving conspiracy.
Without the gambling being regulated by the state and run by professional and law-abiding institutions, cases like this may not be noticed, or if they were may not be reported.
Illinois is one of those states which has decided to legalize and regulate the sports gambling industry. In 2019 they allowed in person betting on approved sites, where you needed to register before being able to bet online.
Today, it is legal to set up an account online and bet with on your favourite sports, while also having the option of in person betting across the city.
More than $7 billion was wagered in Illinois last year with around 95% being online, the college basketball odds always prove to be particularly popular in the city of Chicago with many placing bets on the Chicago State Cougars each season. The Cougars stumbled once again against Seattle in their most recent game at time of writing, coming out on the wrong side of a 74-66 game. They sit second bottom of the Western Athletic conference with a record of 3 wins and 15 defeats.
They face Utah Valley next up on March 8th, 2022. Utah Valley sit in the middle of the pack and will go into the game with a lot of confidence. Chicago will rely on senior guard Coreyoun Rushin who has scored at least 13 points in six of his last eight games. Points have often been high in Chicago State games and could be a good pick for odds over the spread on combined points.
Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot has seen the potential the legalization of sports betting has been able to add to her city. Chicago fire and police departments have their pensions funds boosted although many feel the 2% city tax rate in not enough for sportsbooks.
It was projected in 2021 that the sports betting tax could raise around $500,000 per year which would help towards the city’s budget and income which can be used in appropriate places such as being added to the public safety pension fund.
The Chicago Cubs baseball side are lining up the opportunity to house the first stadium sports book in Major League Baseball at their home, Wrigley Field, in a $100 million partnership with DraftKings.
The Cubs chairman, Tom Ricketts, said to the Chicago Sun Times “Every sports venue is looking for ways to contribute to the economic health of our neighborhoods on non-game days. This partnership would attract more pepe on days when we don’t have a game as well as generate more activities on game days themselves”.
It is thought that the partnership would provide increased attendances as well as a boost in joint marketing relationships which could provide more resources that can be put towards the teams on the field as well.
The financial side of regulating the sports betting market is of huge potential for Chicago, Illinois, and all other states across the US. It is a booming market which if governed correctly could provide support to communities across the country.
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