Supreme Court

Get ready for Oregon to get back in the bookie business

Get ready for Oregon to get back in the bookie business

First, a brief history lesson:

After years of opposing such things, all of our major sports leagues have come out in favor of legalized sports betting within the last few years. Rather than worry about potential problems with game-fixing or point shaving, the leagues finally gave in to the lure of the pot of gold at the end of the gambling rainbow. There are huge sums of money to be made off our vices, as if you didn't already know.

Today's Supreme Court ruling has likely put a whole lot of institutions in the gambling business.

Make no mistake, you're going to see a stampede now, as leagues, states, casinos and web apps dive into sports betting. Very soon, in fact, we could see the state of Oregon become a very big and succesful bookmaker. Of course, the NBA wouid like to do the same thing. All our leagues -- including the NFL and MLB -- are tired of seeing the bookies and Nevada casinos making all the money on the wagering on their games.

Betting windows in Moda Center? Don't be surprised at some point if you can make a halftime bet on somebody's second-half point total.

In case you didn't know it, there are billions at stake here. Oregon recognized this a long time ago when it instituted "Sports Action," a state-sponsored parlay method of betting on NFL games. Later, NBA games were added to the mix but the league filed a suit that stopped its inclusion. Sports Action was banned in 2007 because the NCAA promised not to hold any March Madness tournament rounds in the state as long as the game existed.

Oregon would need to have the legislature legalize betting again to make sports wagering possible here. It would also need to create a method for regulating it. But with upwards of $10 billion up for grabs, the race will soon be on to grab a piece of that very big pie.

And sports, as we know them, will likely be forever changed.

Get ready for betting windows on the concourse of your local pro sports venue

Get ready for betting windows on the concourse of your local pro sports venue

Not sure if you noticed that the state of New Jersey made arguments yesterday in front of the Supreme Court to try to get sports betting legalized in the state.

And the big news is that their odds are pretty good for a favorable verdict -- one that would then quite probably open the door to sports betting on a state-by-state basis.

Just a little insight into legalized gambling on sports: After years of opposing this, pro sports leagues are now coming out in favor of it. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has been the most outspoken advocate for legalization:

But I believe that sports betting should be brought out of the underground and into the sunlight where it can be appropriately monitored and regulated.

I think, though, what Silver is really saying is this:

We want to legalize sports betting so we can get our hands on a piece of what could be hundreds of millions of dollars for our league.

I'm told the league -- all of the pro leagues, in fact -- envision betting windows or lounges right there on the concourses of their arenas/stadiums. That would theoretically do two things for pro sports -- bring more people out of their homes and to games, where they can easily and legally make sports bets. And, of course, taking a big slice of the revenue from the action would be the biggest bonanza. The leagues would become bookies and have what could be a new billion-dollar revenue stream.

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We are talking HUGE money here, too. Silver himself estimated illegal wagering as a $400 billion business. A whole lot of states would love to make that a part of their revenue streams, too.

A verdict is expected in June. I would expect the stampede for other states to ratify legalized sports betting would follow shortly after that.