The four major pro sports and the NCAA lost step one in their legal battle against Delaware. Sports gambling begins there on September 1. The NCAA's response? Ban all postseason games from the state. In your face, Blue Hens!
Delaware Governor Jack Markell estimates that sports betting will bring in $55 million this year, or roughly 55 million times the revenue of a single I-AA football playoff game. So as he points out, the NCAA's punitive decision to ban all championship events from the state only hurts college athletes—the people the NCAA is allegedly protecting. I guess they'll just go on using their bookies like they do now.
There's still a chance that the sports leagues could win the lawsuit against the state (this week's ruling only denied an emergency injunction), but that seems unlikely. Looking at the ruling, Judge Gregory M. Sleet, chief of U.S. District Court in Delaware, seems perfectly aware of the rank hypocrisy at work here. Gambling is good for sports. (Financially, anyway.) Everyone knows it. Betting lines sit next to box scores in newspapers. Teams take advertising dollars from casinos. Heck, some team owners even have their own casinos. No one, anywhere in America has trouble finding someone to take a bet on a game if they want to. Wagering on the outcome is practically the only reason that most sports exist.
The world will survive Delaware's gambling jones and more and more states will try to follow suit, because it's the only way anyone can make money in this terrible economy. Look for New Jersey, home of Atlantic City and shore trash, to be the next state to try and overturn the federal sports gambling law. I would bet you anything.