Pay Per Head: Wagering and Sports Integrity for New Jersey

Chris-christieThe pay per head sports betting debate in New Jersey has the pro sports leagues and the NCAA squaring off against Governor Chris Christie stating that sports betting will ruin the integrity of the game.

The Remote Gambling Association(RGA) in a publication said the evolution of new technologies “has raised concerns amongst sporting bodies who perceive that the increased availability of betting on sport opens up new threats to the integrity of sporting events.”

“However, there is evidence to suggest that this situation may have sometimes been the result of certain sporting groups using this as a tool to pressure licensed gambling operators, governments and European institutions to meet their commercial agenda.“

Currently it is illegal to wager on sports other than in the states of Nevada, Deleware, Oregon and Montana.

The “Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act (2006), has had very limited success in stopping its citizens from accessing offshore gambling companies” and money laundering charges are doing little to slow down users and operators alike.

The New Jersey law states that wagering won’t be allowed on any college sports played in the state, or on New Jersey teams regardless of where they play. Also half of the license fee proceeds would go to compulsive gamblers’ treatment.

So if the same measures that Nevada uses are in place, what is the harm?

Since gambling is a common leisure activity throughout the world, it is not possible to ban it outright.

An arrest in October of last year showed that price per head sportsbooks exist everywhere, and just one was taking in $50 million worth of bets.

It will be interesting to see what Christie’s next move will be, since putting sports betting at Atlantic City casinos and horse racetracks would create an additional 1500 or more jobs.

Integrity clauses should be written by all leagues for all players, refs, officials, coaches, etc, and a legal sports betting model would allow for notice of wager irregularities.

Chrisite is doing the smart thing, and not sticking his head in the sand like the naysayers are about pay per head betting.