This past January, New Jersey governor Chris Christie signed a law that would allow sports betting at New Jersey's casinos and racetracks. This came amidst noise about the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), which limited sports betting to Nevada, Delaware, Oregon and Montana. Now, the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL and NCAA are suing New Jersey to prevent the state from moving forward with sports gambling.
I'm not sure how New Jersey plans on challenging this suit, but it will be an uphill battle, in spite of the absurdity of this lawsuit. The leagues are claiming allowing sports gambling in New Jersey will irreparably harm their reputation and goodwill. They claim that the proliferation of sports gambling "will adversely effect the way that the public views amateur and professional sports."
Does that sound as absurd to you as it does to me? While plenty of people don't like gambling for one reason or another, would allowing people in New Jersey to legally put money down on a game while at a casino in the state really impact how you view those sports? If it will, I'd love to know why.
Having more organized structure to gambling across the nation would benefit to the leagues to prevent game fixing. Casinos have a highly vested interest in games being on the straight and narrow. If a gambler thinks a game is likely to be fixed, he would likely be less inclined to bet on it (unless he happened to know which way it was fixed). When a large amount of money comes into Las Vegas on a particular game, red flags are raised and appropriate parties are notified. Illegal gambling is the problem for leagues, not legal gambling.
Furthermore, I just don't understand how the leagues can stick their head in the sand and pretend they are not benefitting from gambling. The NFL has become popular for numerous reasons, but one of the most important is gambling. Why else do you think the NFL releases injury reports to the media?