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Commissioners from the NBA, MLB and NHL discussed sports betting at a panel in New York earlier this week.
Silver said, “My sense is that the law will change in the next few years in the United States. It’s more a function of being realists. It’s a multi-hundred billion-dollar illegal industry in the United States. Ultimately, as the owners of the intellectual property, we’re going to embrace it.”
Bettman and Manfred worried about the impact legalized gambling will have on the at-game experience, suggesting leagues will see unintended consequences.
“I don’t worry about fixing games. I don’t worry about anything other than what does it do to the way young people consume sports,” Bettman said. “Secondly, what does it do to the environment in a stadium or an arena if everybody is sitting there just worrying about their bets? Does it turn us into something other than what we’ve been, more like a race track?”
Manfred: “The growth area is on more discreet activities in the game. Is the next pitch going to be a ball or a strike? … It seems to me that there is a difference between somebody betting on whether the next pitch is going to be a ball or a strike — which is hard for anybody to affect or control — as opposed to the outcome of a game.”
Silver responded by saying, “Research generally shows that fans are fairly sophisticated. They can both root for their team and virtually all the action. … They want to bet throughout the game. They’re betting on quarter scores, on particular players, and free throws. It results in enormous additional engagement.”
It’s looking like more money will be bet on the Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor fight than on this year’s Super Bowl.
Kevin Bradley, the sports book manager of Bovada.lv, said betting on Mayweather-McGregor has been massive already.
“We knew this fight would be big, potentially even bigger than the Super Bowl, but now we are almost certain it will be,” Bradley said. “The recent trash talking and promotional tour is only encouraging bets and at this rate we cannot even imagine how much we will take on it. One thing is for sure though, we will need Mayweather huge. A McGregor early round KO as he promised would be a potential disaster and is partly a reason we are giving a great price on Mayweather at the moment.”
A Las Vegas sportsbook operator says bets keep coming in on McGregor.
Will McGregor win in rounds 1 through 4? Yes is plus-900 and no is minus-1,600 after opening at minus-2,000.
“So far, we’ve written 30 bets and all 30 of them are on the yes,” Westgate sports book manager John Murray said. “Everybody’s also betting on Conor to win by knockout (7-1) and in all the different rounds. Every day, there’s just more and more bets on McGregor.”
Mayweather is a minus-700 favorite to win the fight and McGregor is a plus-500 underdog at most books, the majority of which continue to get inundated with McGregor money.
“Everybody will need Mayweather for as much as they can stomach,” William Hill sports book director Nick Bogdanovich said. “The public is just going to keep taking McGregor between 5-1 and 6-1 odds.”
India could be on track to legalize sports betting.
Taking a leaf out of UK’s book, where betting has been regulated for some years now, the ministry has already begun talks with the respective stakeholders in the government.
“The UK has one of the most effective gambling laws. We hope to understand their system and see if it is possible to introduce it in India,” an official working with the ministry told Indian Express.
Curbing the menace of corrupt activities harbouring around different sports has always involved a tussle between the law-enforcing authorities and the erring masses and the blot of spot fixing has also taken its toll on the reputation of the global game.
On this front, bringing betting under the legal ambit could solve these problems to some extent, provided adequate laws are in face to regulate such activities.
“The department is preparing a MoU with the UK and the aspect of betting will be included therein in order to understand the mechanism and evolve a view on the possibility of its introduction in India,” the ministry conveyed in a presentation.
“However, it can be beneficial to the economy as well as sports overall. We are looking at the best international practices in sports integrity and ethics framework,” the official added.
These moves have been emboldened by what the former Chief Justice of India, RM Lodha, had told the Supreme Court last years with respect to betting in India.
“As far as betting alone is concerned, many of the respondents before the Committee were of the view that it would serve both the game and economy if it were legalized as has been done in the United Kingdom,” Lodha had said.
A total of four matches at Wimbledon and the French Open were flagged for unusual betting patterns.
The TIU’s quarterly report, released Wednesday, says a total of 53 match alerts were received from April to June out of a total of more than 31,000 professional matches. There were 73 alerts during the same period last year.
Three of the recently flagged matches were at Wimbledon – two in qualifying, one in the main draw – and one was at Roland Garros. Only four were at ATP or WTA tour events. The other 45 were at low-level Challenger, Futures or ITF tournaments.
Two Canadian football fans won the largest 50-50 raffle jackpot in North American sports history.
Quentin and Samantha Ebertz bought $20 worth of tickets for the sports raffle at Friday night’s Edmonton Eskimos game and walked away with a $345,160 ($435,919.50 Canadian) prize.
“It’s truly jaw-dropping and tax-free,” said Eskimos president and CEO Len Rhodes, referring to the fact that Canadian citizens don’t have to pay taxes on lottery winnings.
Quentin, a season-ticket holder since 2005, said he was watching television Saturday morning when the winning numbers came on the screen during a newscast.
“I knew we had the first three digits, and then I checked the rest,” he said. “I double- and triple-checked it and realized we won.”