States could flock to legalized sports betting, post-pandemic

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The coronavirus outbreak has devastated the economy and, in turn, busted state budgets, primarily via reduced tax revenues. When the dust settles on a new normal, states will be looking for ways to boost empty coffers.

Enter sports betting. And weed.

States were gradually embracing both traditional vices as legal activities before the pandemic. After the pandemic, both become easy ways for states to raise money by making them permissible and imposing taxes on the transactions.

While the ongoing legalization of marijuana doesn’t matter much to football (at some point, however, the NFL will have no choice but to fully legalize it, too), an accelerated spread of legal betting on sports would be very good for the NFL, creating more revenue opportunities and increasing interest in the sport.

But it also will raise the stakes as to one very important concept for the NFL: Getting calls right. As more and more money is legally bet on football and as bad calls cause millions of dollars to swing one way or the other, the outcry will increase in the aftermath of blunders by officials. Which makes it even more critical for the league to embrace the “sky judge” concept when owners meet virtually this week to vote on potential rule changes.

Whatever they call it and however they do it, the gap must be bridged between the inherently flawed full-speed, naked-eye judgments of boomers trying not to get blown up by the gladiators and the high-def images we all see on TV, from umpteen angles and in super-slow motion. An eighth official who knows the rules and sees what we see is the easiest and best way to bridge that divide — and in turn to keep legislators and/or prosecutors out of the NFL’s rectal cavity by reducing the kind of errors that would create the kind of reactions that eventually but inevitably invite external oversight.

29 responses to “States could flock to legalized sports betting, post-pandemic

  1. States were already in trouble financially. They didn’t need covid for an excuse. Notice who hasn’t suffered during this lockdown. Politicians and government employee employees.

  2. I’m new to this, but I feel pretty confident taking the Redskins to cover.

  3. “post-pandemic”? That’s reckless phrasing that mirrors what will bring people harm. At best, this is post-shutdown I. Or perhaps, the period in between shut downs.

  4. Good ..because I’m gonna need to be mighty high to watch football with the constant rule changes.

  5. Say what you want about the XFL but one thing they did right was the officiating, especially the sky judge reviews. The solution has been staring the NFL in the face for years (the CFL has used it for a long time) so why does everyone pretend like they don’t see it?

  6. And making the officials full-time wouldn’t hurt either!! It’s all good until the money gets messed up.

  7. Make it legalized because the big corporations will benefit from this, basically another way to stealing money when games are manipulated for certain outcomes.

  8. Virginia was talking about gambling, sports betting and casinos, months before the pandemic for the first time ever. It’s going to be s slam dunk now.

  9. Why not? Gambling and drug use have been taken off the “don’t do” lists.
    I say legalize everything, because it’s going to happen anyway.
    Everything is about money, and I don’t care what it is. You can’t name anything which isn’t all about money.
    So legalizing gambling for everything is 100% fine with me. The only groups which will be hurt by legalizing gambling are the bookies and the Bingo games at churches.

  10. If you want make a ton of money, bet on the Redskins each and every game. With Simba on our offense and The Predator on defense, you can’t lose. And you can put your winnings to weed if you are so inclined.

  11. Mike, I think the opposite is true as far as getting the calls right. The NFL for years has had the technical ability to get every call correct, and do it without slowing down the games. For some reason, they don’t want the players deciding the outcomes of the games or point spreads. I always thought it was due to big gambling interests. So if they increase the amount of money being bet on NFL games, they’ll likely want to be able to control the point spreads that much more. It doesn’t bother me because I don’t bet on games, and even if I did, who’s to say the team I bet on didn’t get the advantage. The games are still entertaining, even if the refs determine more than they should.

  12. If New York state doesn’t legalize mobile sports betting by the end of 2020, they’ll never do it. No mobile means giving away millions of dollars from NYC-area bettors to New Jersey.

  13. I’m good with them legalizing both. Tax the heck out of it so we don’t have to pay as much income taxes. Set some money aside so that in 10 years, when they determine that weed causes cancer, they aren’t using income taxpayer money to fund the research. They can use the taxes they collected from the folks who bought it.

  14. No fans in the stands mean more people will be FORCED to watch the games on TV and they have money to spend after not buying 2-3-4 thousand dollars seats. They have money to spend and will.

  15. Getting the call right or wrong, whatever. The human element adds to the drama. Don’t over officiate. No Sky Judge. Gamblers have been fine without it for decades.

  16. If you write something about politicians that makes logical sense, you will now know something that will never happen.

  17. “When the dust settles on a new normal”

    Mike, this is not the norm. Never will be.
    Just stop already.

  18. Nothing wrong with hitting some money line parlays to make ends meet in these tough economic times.

  19. Hey Covid Kid….do you really think these states will lower your income tax if they increase tax revenues from legalized gambling?? These states (especially the blue variety) only know how to spend more. You’ve got a better chance of winning the lottery than ever seeing a tax break.

  20. When the dust settles on a new normal, states will be looking for ways to boost empty coffers.

    New normal = SERIOUSLY? There isn’t going to be any new normal, the US has just been “temporarily altered” and in a while we’ll be doing all of the things we did before COVID-19, packing restaurants, stadiums, concerts, etc, etc and this will have been nothing more than a speed bump in this road we call life! Now one thing that might change since people are so stupid and listen to these facist “orders” is the government will try and issue more control over the people, but that’s their own fault for obeying an “order” given by one person. This is the USA which is a republic were it takes 2/3 of the House and Senate and a signature of a governor/President to institute laws, NO ONE PERSON HAS THAT POWER! But unless people wake up and fight for their Constitutional rights pretty soon they won’t have any and as a VET that sickens me to see so many just bow to the government the way they did and those people don’t deserve any rights if they aren’t willing to fight for them. I’m sure someone in their family tree that died for them to have these rights is rolling over in their graves right now.

    “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” B. Franklin

  21. Legalize prostitution as well. They are leaving alot of government dollars on the table

  22. Nerds who say “new normal” are annoying. You guys are the absolutely worst. Also, someone said states are struggling financially. You’re half right. The state’s that lean right, are on the right side of the ledger. Donkey states like California and New York have their hands out asking for more money.

  23. “an accelerated spread of legal betting on sports would be very good for the NFL… increasing interest in the sport”

    This statement couldn’t be more wrong.

    This could lead to the NFL becoming FRINGE ENTERTAINMENT like the WWE.

  24. my casino has been shut down for 7 weeks, but they let you drive up to the casino and drop your losing off

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