The Supreme Court's decision on Monday to pave the way for legalized sports betting is expected to change how we consume sports and Wizards and Capitals majority owner and CEO of Monumental Sports and Entertainment Ted Leonsis has been gearing up for this for quite some time. He has spoken often about the subject and how his own businesses will adapt to a new era in the sports industry.
After the ruling came down, Leonsis issued a statement via his 'Ted's Take' website. The statement began with a breakdown of the interest in sports betting and how making it legal could produce a safer environment for sports fans to place bets. He compared the industry to Wall Street and how similar regulations could be applied to sports gambling.
Leonsis later went into how the ruling could affect the sports fan experience in general.
Many ask if this decision will impact the integrity of sports themselves. I think it’s just the opposite. I think that the increased transparency that will accompany more legalized betting around the country will only further protect against potential corruption. They say sunlight is the best disinfectant, and in this case I believe that is certainly true.
Of course, there are a huge number of questions about how today’s decision will play out across different states and throughout the different leagues. I don’t claim to know all of those answers today, but what I do know is that this is a new frontier for professional sports and teams who don’t seize on this opportunity will be left behind. As millennials and Gen Z continue to embrace the second screen, it’s not hard to imagine in the near future fans on their devices analyzing data, placing bets and communicating with each other in real time during games. Legalized sports betting will only bring fans closer to the game, ramping up the action in each minute and creating more intensity. It will bring new revenue into the economy, creating jobs and growing our tax base. Today’s decision is a great one for sports fans and I am eager to embrace it.
Leonsis went into great detail about how legalized sports betting could change his businesses earlier this year in an interview with ESPN. Leonsis envisions Capital One Arena being an interactive betting landscape for fans watching games and even the potential for the arena to serve as a new-age sportsbook. Hotel rooms inside the arena for bettors have even been discussed.
The future of sports may have shifted dramatically with Monday's ruling. Though it will likely take a few years to happen locally, expect Leonsis, along with the Wizards, Capitals and other Monumental Sports teams, to be at the forefront.
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