Sports gambling has been readily discussed among parties of varying interest. There have been the detractors, quick to spout their strong opinions. Then came the proponents cheerfully mumbling under piles of laws they couldn’t quite wrap their heads around. And now comes SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey who has decided it was worth it to take a few moments and discuss the topic, such as it is.
Mr Sankey made his appearance at SEC Media Days on Monday and hinted that legalizing sports betting will in fact have an effect on college athletics, too. Not many people have thought about that, but Mr Sankey and his colleagues have been well ahead of us, seeing a few dozen moves where we only perceived a few.
The efforts are not a spontaneous affair either. Instead, the US Securities and Exchanges Commission has pondering the day since 2011 and today they stand to be rather better prepared than the actual supporters of the movement.
Sankey Takes the Wheel
Mr Sankey has been actively seeking to further his understanding of the segment, reaching out to all top representatives of athletic sports bodies, including the NFL, NBA, MLB, NCAA, and the PGA offices. He has been particularly devoted to understanding how the bodies themselves intend to handle the arrival of legalized sports betting, too.
If anything made it to the headlines, it was that Sankey and his colleagues intend to keep everything well-regulated and without any chances to invite foul play. Whilst SEC doesn’t intend to keep the activity under lock and key, it’s understandable that it will allocate sufficient time to familiarize itself with how gambling continues to step from a legal grey area into a fully-blown industry across the United States.
He was also cognizant of the many variables that often come with such moves. Apart from keeping an eye on matters on a federal level, Mr Sankey and SEC will have to communicate with local leagues and state authorities to establish that in places where sports betting is allowed, all legal norms are kept intact.
A Struggle to Prove
Of course, despite the positive development of the PASPA repeal, it’s still quite obvious that in many states support is segregated. There are strong bastions with prevalent anti-gambling sentiment who are bound to influence the outcome on any votes. A state may not be able to fully legalize sports betting if local communities put up a fight and say no.
Naturally, this kind of opposition doesn’t stretch far and wide, which is a relief for the pro-gambling supporters. Mr Sankey’s outlined course of action is in fact much needed as it helps bystanders see how regulators that are not directly related to the gambling industry will handle the development.
With the SEC keeping an open mind, there’s much relief. Of course, SEC will seek to impose some restrictions which may go against the grain of what supporters have had in mind, too, but compromises will have to be struck.
Even though the main athletic bodies couldn’t see PASPA protected, they still have significant leverage.