By Perry Green and Stephen D. Riley, AFRO Sports Desk
Supreme Court announced earlier in the week that wagering on college and pro spirits will now be legal and coming to a casino near you. While the parameters and rules haven’t been laid, imaginations have been running wild as to how the future of sports will actually look. With a hockey team already locked into Las Vegas and doing well and the Oakland Raiders set to move to the area in 2019, Vegas could become the sports capital in a few seasons with the new ruling. Perry Green and Stephen D. Riley of the AFRO Sports Desk debate whether legalizing sports betting is a good or bad idea.
In this Monday, May 14, 2018 file photo, people make bets in the sports book area of the South Point Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. Those who deal with compulsive gambling are worried that a rapid expansion of sports betting in the U.S. could cause more people to develop gambling problems. The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday cleared the way for states to legalize sports betting. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)
Riley: When you legalize sports betting you open up Pandora’s Box for other ideas such as paying student athletes or athletes betting on games in which they’re directly involved. But, more so for the NCAA, the pressure is going to mount for them to start paying their athletes. States are going to profit majorly, and for the schools that serve as the highlight of the state, such as those in Nebraska and Kentucky, the money made will be insane. All that money can’t just go to the school and skip the athletes. The argument will be full and at front for the NCAA.
Green: Legalizing sports gambling will obviously make some money but sports betting has been going on for centuries and the money has been pumping into schools routinely anyway. Whether by donation or sponsors, sports gambling has been funneled into the schools for a long time now and athletes still haven’t gotten paid and they won’t even after this. The states will profit heavily from it and that money will go to more than just campuses. It isn’t like colleges will be profiting solely from it as that money should be reassigned for roads, community development and better schools –in a perfect world. It’s long overdue.
Riley: Bookies and backers have long been in business and I get that closet money has long been a staple. But, legalizing betting could cripple the NCAA. It’s easy to have the argument that illegal money should be hushed and what’s brought in through sponsors and friends of the program is just donation money from another “source.” But when known and legal money is being counted then that conversation over paying students needs to be had, and it could have negative effects on the association. Don’t get me wrong, I’m for everybody getting paid, but I also enjoy college sports without the hassle.
Green: You’re worried about seeing your Michigan Wolverines, but it’s bigger than college. Several mouths will feed off this announcement if it’s structured right. And if it comes down to paying student athletes, the NCAA will figure out something that still won’t be good enough even if approved. So what difference does it make? The NCAA is the least of my concern. Although, I agree things could get testy for them, many more will profit.