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Statement From Ted Leonsis On Supreme Court Decision Regarding Sports Betting

via the Washington Capitals PR department,


May 14, 2018

Stats have always been the lifeblood of sports fandom, and a fan today has more stats available to digest and analyze than was imaginable even a decade ago: player movements, biometrics, hyper-detailed opponent history.  Data analytics have become integral to teams’ success – but also to diehard fans’ enjoyment of the game.

So, 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.  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.  

Sports betting is built on a rock-solid foundation of data, plain and simple.  The more data a fan has about a player or a team, the better he or she can predict the outcome of a game, or a possession or a play.  And as our data analytics have gotten better, sports betting has only gotten more popular.  A 2017 gaming industry study estimated that offshore bookmakers are earning $2.5-$3 billion from people in the U.S who are betting illegally.  The same report suggested that about 12-15 million Americans are currently active illegal bettors – and they don’t include “casual” or “social” bettors in that count. 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.

Think about it this way:  Wall Street is another industry that’s all about data.  It’s about making informed decisions about what the market will do based on the data you have available to you. And there are tremendous safeguards in place to protect consumers – the SEC, for example – to ensure that trading happens on a level playing field.  Sports betting is no different.  Today’s decision paves the way for the implementation of safeguards against fraud in sports betting, including things like licensing betting operators to ensure they are legitimate and regulated monitoring of betting lines.

Many ask if this decision will impact the integrity of sports themselves.  I think it’s just the opposite.  I think that the increased transparency that will accompany more legalized betting around the country will only further protect against potential corruption.  They say sunlight is the best disinfectant, and in this case I believe that is certainly true.

Of course, there are a huge number of questions about how today’s decision will play out across different states and throughout the different leagues.  I don’t claim to know all of those answers today, but what I do know is that this is a new frontier for professional sports and teams who don’t seize on this opportunity will be left behind.  As millennials and Gen Z continue to embrace the second screen, it’s not hard to imagine in the near future fans on their devices analyzing data, placing bets and communicating with each other in real time during games.  Legalized sports betting will only bring fans closer to the game, ramping up the action in each minute and creating more intensity.  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.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ted+leonsis


Paul's avatar

Detroit Free Press on what the state could do regarding sports betting.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 05/14/18 at 12:12 PM ET


Agree with Ted. As a Floridian I would love to have the state legalize sports betting.

Posted by Puckbubba on 05/14/18 at 12:18 PM ET

Paul's avatar

NEW YORK (May 14, 2018) – The National Hockey League released the following statement regarding today’s Supreme Court decision:

“The Supreme Court’s decision today paves the way to an entirely different landscape – one in which we have not previously operated. We will review our current practices and policies and decide whether adjustments are needed, and if so, what those adjustments will look like. It’s important to emphasize that the Supreme Court’s decision has no immediate impact on existing League rules relating to sports wagering, and particularly, wagering involving NHL games. So, while changes may be considered in the future, today’s decision does not directly impact the operation of the League or any of our Clubs in the short term.”

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 05/14/18 at 12:49 PM ET

Paul's avatar

What’s next?

Dan Wetzel of Yahoo,

First the ruling needs to be sorted out. A storefront sportsbook, like the ones across Europe, will not open down the block from your house today so you can bet on the Golden State-Houston game.

The ruling kicks the issue to the United States Congress to sort out, so politicians (and lobbyists) are going to be involved.

If the feds don’t act, however, then the issue can be decided on a state-by-state basis. It’s expected that if Washington comes up with something, it will still allow state governments to handle local legalization, the way it is with lotteries (44 states have them) and casino gambling (30 states allow it). Industry estimates peg 32 states as likely to legalize initially, with more coming as they realize the revenue being lost.


Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 05/14/18 at 12:58 PM ET

Paul's avatar

NHLPA Statement Regarding U.S. Supreme Court’s Decision

TORONTO (May 14, 2018)
– The National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) issued the following statement today regarding the United States Supreme Court’s decision:

“The Supreme Court’s decision today may well pave the way for increased, widespread, legalized gambling on sports throughout the United States. While this has the potential to have a positive impact upon sports, fans, and players, it is very important that players’ rights are protected in any new legislative schemes, including rights of privacy and publicity. We look forward, along with the other Players’ Associations, to being a vital part of that discussion.”

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 05/14/18 at 06:03 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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