MLS Commissioner Backs Sports Betting Legalisation
November 16, 2017
Don Garber, the Chief of North America’s professional soccer league the MLS, has put his support behind wider legalisation of sports betting throughout the United States.
Betting on sports is only currently legal in Nevada under current US gambling laws, but New Jersey is currently in a legislative battle over their plan to introduce a new regulated system.
The state of New Jersey will see its arguments heard from at the Supreme Court of the United States where they plan on repealing the Professional and Amateur Sports Betting Act (PASPA).
The NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, and NCAA are all opposed to introducing a new regulated system, and until this week Major League Soccer was a sole noticeable absentee.
“Go to a game in Chelsea or in Stamford Bridge, somebody’s coming to your seat or in your box with a tout sheet, and you can place a bet,” said the MLS commissioner Don Garber.
“Gambling on games, betting on games, is part of the DNA of football around the world. I am a big proponent that it’s going to happen, we might as well be in front of it.”
PASPA, which was introduced in 1992, “makes it unlawful for government entities to sponsor, operate, advertise, promote, license or authorise betting, gambling or wagering schemes based on games played by amateur or professional athletes.”
However, with MLS being the 6th largest sporting organisation in the US, it’s unlikely that their efforts will hold much sway in the legal battle.
“I’m agnostic to it. I don’t think it helps, I don’t think it hurts. I do think laws should be complied with, so I’m hoping the Supreme Court affirms PASPA in terms of the New Jersey litigation,” said the NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman.
The American Gaming Association, one of the main parties in favour of legalising sports betting, are optimistic President Trump is on their side as he has history of casino ownership, though he hasn’t ever formally addressed the subject.
The court will hear the case on December 4th.