Major US Sports Unions Discuss Likelihood of Legal Sports Betting
According to a recent report on MMBQ.si.com (a division of Sports Illustrated magazine) representatives of these groups have been meeting in secret in New York City to discuss the ramifications of “inevitable” legalization on their lives.
The existence of the meetings was confirmed by NFLPA executive George Atallah who told MMBQ:
Yes, the sports unions have been discussing the issue, in particular around the integrity of our respective games. We’re collaborating on it. We might be open to changes that are coming because of (legalized sports gambling), but before we get to the revenue aspect of it, do we have the infrastructure in place to prevent any sort of shenanigans? That’s the issue.
Those “shenanigans” Atallah is referring to are the dark specters of game fixing by players in an effort to line the pockets of organized crime. This issue is the reason why, until very recently, the state of Nevada did not have any professional sports teams.
The fear of organized crime fixing games in an effort to boost profits at their legal sportsbooks is, however, an idea that’s somewhat dated and the players unions and team owners know it. One unidentified team owner told Sports Illustrated:
That was an issue decades ago. Now? Sports gambling is going to be legal. We might as well embrace it and become part of the solution, rather than fight it. It’s in everyone’s best interests for it to be above board.
With that demon vanquished, the unions are focusing on infrastructure issues and other means by which they can keep players out of trouble as the legal sports betting era in America draws near.