In-stadium, real-time sports betting in the United States – an overview of legal issues facing clubs and leagues
Last May, the United States Supreme Court struck down the federal ban on sports betting, marking the start of a new era in the sports industry.1 The Court’s decision in Murphy v. National Collegiate Athletic Association declared the federal Professional and Amateur Sports Provision Act (PASPA) unconstitutional, paving the way for individual states to legalize and regulate sports betting within their borders.2 Since the Murphy decision, eight states have implemented full-scale legalized sports betting, and twenty-nine other jurisdictions have introduced or passed their legislative frameworks at the time writing.3 It is only a matter of time before sports betting is legal in the vast majority of the United States.
Many expect that betting is the future of sports and might be the answer to recent viewership declines in professional leagues such as Major League Baseball.4 One way that professional sports leagues and teams hope to use recent gambling legislation to re-engage fans is through in-arena, real-time sports betting. Ted Leonsis, the CEO of Monumental Sports & Entertainment and owner of seven professional teams in several different sports, sees the potential for arenas to be transformed into entertainment superplexes that feature betting windows, kiosks and in-game betting options from mobile devices.5
It was inconceivable even ten years ago for fans to place real-time bets on their mobile devices as they watch the action unfold from their seats, it is likely to become a reality soon as more states implement sports betting legislation. However, the implementation of real-time betting presents a number of legal issues. This article will discuss, arguably, the three most important and controversial legal issues facing the burgeoning industry, including:
use and collection of game data by oddsmakers;
regulation and prevention of underage and automated bets; and
preserving the integrity of the game.
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- Tags: Alliance of American Football (AAF) | Betting | Gambling | Major League Baseball (MLB) | Professional and Amateur Sports Provision Act | The National Football League (NFL) | United States of America (USA)
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Partner, Weinberg Gonser LLP
Aaron Swerdlow, a partner at Weinberg Gonser LLP in Los Angeles, California, guides emerging technology, corporate, sports, and entertainment clients with transactional, employment, and corporate law matters. He has extensive experience in negotiations, business contracts, sports law, arbitration, trademarks, as well as drafting and negotiating private equity, corporate restructuring, licensing, and employment agreements. He also negotiates and drafts joint venture, finance, employment, marketing, and third-party media service agreements for emerging technology companies, medium-sized business, and e-sports ventures.