Are There Positive Effects Of Gambling In College Sports?
At the organizational level in Canada and the United States, gambling on sports is considered to be generally distasteful. Gambling on amateur sports, such as on the outcome of Olympic, high school, or college athletics, is especially frowned upon. Even beyond the usual risks that gambling entails for the person who places bets, betting on sports is seen as a corruption of the ideals that sport represents. The negative effects of gambling in college sports are often pointed to as reasons why any loopholes that exist in laws governing the activity should be closed. But the fact remains that there are still several legal bookmaking operations running that take bets on college events, and of course there are still hundreds of underground operations that make considerable profit each year. Obviously, someone is coming up with convincing arguments for the continuation of the limited gambling on college sport that there is. But what are these reasons, when there is so much evidence against the practice?
Gambling on College Sports = BIG Money. This is the argument that you will hear from legal bookmakers in Nevada who take bets on college events. Sports gambling makes up a huge proportion of the money that comes into the state every year, without the overhead that other kinds of gambling entails. Nevada bookies were extremely concerned four years ago when several bills were tabled both in Congress and in the Senate that tried to close the loophole of the 1992 Act that limited gambling in sports essentially to just one state. The Vegas bookmakers alone claimed that sports betting accounted for $700 million each year, with a lot of that coming from betting on college athletics ($70 million during March Madness is just one of the big figures). The gambling lobby campaigned stringently for the defeat of the bills, which did not make it to the floor for voting.
The big money of the Vegas lobbyists also means they have a handy slush fund when it comes to legal action as well as lobbying. Many people concerned about the state of college athletics point to the fight that the gambling lobby puts up as the main reason why the practice has not been made illegal. One of the positive effects of gambling in college sports, then, is a flow of money into states where it is legal.
Gambling on a Sport Means Exposure: Like it or not, when there is something riding on the outcome of a game that is measurable, people are more apt to watch the sport. Anyone who has ever been involved in a league pool knows this for a fact. When you have selected a group of players, you are curious as to how those players are doing and therefore more likely to watch games. The same is true for college sport. The huge climb in popularity of NCAA basketball and football over the past decade coincides with the huge rise of gambling on the sports. Betting means more interest, and more interest is good for the sport, the players, and the colleges.
Sports purists may not agree that there are any positive effects of gambling in college sports, but that depends on your outlook. Certainly, gambling can be looked at from both sides. The fact is athletes are most prone to betting on sports.