The future of sports betting will be shaped by consumers, but it will also be influenced in large part by the various players who make the gears of this new industry turn. These include sportsbook operators, sports leagues, casinos and gaming facilities, tribal entities and state lotteries, lawmakers and federal agencies, and others. Each has a unique set of interests and goals, but their overall aims are quite similar: maximizing taxable revenue while safeguarding sporting integrity.
The biggest sports scandal in history involved professional gambler Joseph Sullivan, who paid eight members of the 1919 Chicago White Sox (Oscar Felsch, Arnold Gandil, Shoeless Joe Jackson, Fred McMullin, Charles Risberg, George Weaver, and Claude Williams) around 10,000 dollars each to fix a World Series. Baseball’s official rule against gambling remains in place today, and anyone found to have placed a bet on a game can be permanently banned from the sport.
The legal landscape for sports betting continues to evolve across the United States, with many states kicking around ideas on how best to regulate and tax it. Some of these discussions are centered around the role that casinos or tribal entities should play, while others focus on how to best oversee state-licensed sportsbooks. For example, some states have mandated that sportsbooks must use “official league data” to prevent tampering with games and to preserve the integrity of the product. This data war has led to a back-and-forth between sports leagues and sportsbook operators, with the NBA and MLB taking a hardline approach while the NHL and NFL are less aggressive in their demands.