MLS Becomes 1st U.S. League to Publicly Support Legalized Gambling

The NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL & NCAA all publicly oppose New Jersey’s pursuit to legalize sports gambling in the state, but MLS Commissioner Don Garber went on record at the recent Yahoo! Finance All Markets Summit supporting Governor Chris Christie’s efforts. Garber sees an opportunity for MLS to pave the way in supporting change to gambling laws, as his league doesn’t face the same public scrutiny those opposing New Jersey’s stance. The Commissioner noted how gambling is a part of the sport’s “DNA”, referencing in-stadium betting within the English Premier League; and explained how much revenue (an estimated $150 billion/year gambled illegally) would be generated, if gambling were to be legalized and taxed.

Howie Long-Short: There is a prevailing feeling that that the SCOTUS is going to declare that the federal government cannot prohibit states from authorizing legalized sports gambling. If that happens, established gaming sites/apps are going to have a huge lead on the abundance of competition looking to enter the space. The Stars Group (TSG) would be among the companies in the position to benefit. The Poker Stars parent company, which generated $305 million in total Q2 revenue (+ 6.8% YOY) and recently launched Poker Stars Power Up (a poker/video game hybrid), could easily expand their sports book and enter the U.S. market.

Fan Marino: Point spreads and the over/under not your thing? Try prop bets! Paddy Power (PDYPY) is offering odds on the city that will land Amazon’s (AMZN) $5 billion HQ2; with Atlanta, the front-runner at 2-1. Austin (3-1) and Boston (6-1) have the 2nd and 3rd best odds among the 238 cities that submitted bids. Unfortunately, Paddy Power does not accept bets from U.S. residents.

MLS commissioner on sports gambling: ‘I don’t think we can stop it’

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Author: John Wall Street

At the intersection of sports & finance.

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