On Monday, the Supreme Court overturned a 1992 act prohibiting sports gambling in most states, paving the way for states to potentially legalize sports betting on an individual level in the near future. Ted Leonsis, the owner of the Washington Capitals, Mystics and Wizards, posted a glowing review of the Court's decision on his blog, Ted's Take.
Leonsis called the ruling "a new frontier" for sports data.
"The Supreme Court’s decision today to repeal the federal ban on sports betting and clear the way for legalized sports betting across the country is in many ways the logical outgrowth of fans’ obsession with data," Leonsis wrote. "It brings a multibillion dollar industry out of the shadows and into the sunlight, where its integrity can be guaranteed and consumers can be better protected. I believe today’s decision will change the face of sports fandom for the better. "
Millions of Americans, Leonsis said, currently engage in illegal betting, which generates profits of "$2.5 to 3 billion" for offshore bookmakers.
"The appetite for sports betting is there, and now, instead of offshore bookmakers reaping the benefits, we have a pathway to bring this revenue into the US economy – and to ensure that Americans aren’t getting ripped off when they place their bets," he said.
One of the biggest concerns about the ruling has been the potential for gambling to corrupt the integrity of sports, both professional and amateur, which is what the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act was created to uphold. Leonsis said he thinks this decision will have the opposite outcome.
"I think that the increased transparency that will accompany more legalized betting around the country will only further protect against potential corruption," he wrote. "They say sunlight is the best disinfectant, and in this case I believe that is certainly true."
"Legalized sports betting will only bring fans closer to the game, ramping up the action in each minute and creating more intensity," he added. "It will bring new revenue into the economy, creating jobs and growing our tax base. Today’s decision is a great one for sports fans and I am eager to embrace it."