By John Corrigan
Published in Promogram
In what could be a grand slam for the promotional products industry, the U.S. Supreme Court has opened the door for sports betting to become legal across the country.
The court ruled in favor of New Jersey last week, overturning the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), a federal law that essentially limited sports gambling to Nevada for the last quarter century. In a 6-3 decision, the justices declared the law unconstitutional, allowing states to decide whether to allow its residents to bet on sports.
Seventeen states have already passed or have bills making their way through state legislatures to legalize sports betting, USA Today reported. New Jersey, Mississippi and West Virginia are expected to move the quickest in establishing sports betting as a legitimate revenue-generating operation.
While the ruling was a major victory for states, it was somewhat of a loss for the NCAA and major professional sports leagues, which lobbied for PASPA’s passing 26 years ago. Initially worried about risking the integrity of the game, the pro organizations can no longer deny the enormous financial potential of legalized gambling, as seen in recent years with the popularity of websites like FanDuel and DraftKings.
Plus, PASPA wasn’t very effective: legal sports gambling in Nevada rose from $1.8 billion per year to $4.9 billion during the law’s existence, according to the UNLV Center for Gaming Research. Meanwhile, the American Gaming Association estimates that the national illegal sports gambling market grew from $80 billion in 1999 to $150 billion currently.
The ruling is also a big win for suppliers and distributors targeting the sports market. “I think casino sponsorships is an active category with many teams/sports,” says Jay Deutsch, CEO of Top 40 distributor BDA (asi/137616). “Once the leagues craft how to deal with this new ruling, I anticipate the overall category will expand for sponsorships and premiums.”
After state lawsuits cracked down on daily fantasy sports websites, Diamond Imprints (asi/49641) saw the quote volume for sports-related promo items significantly reduce. “Depending on how the state-by-state regulations are formulated, I would anticipate those opportunities increasing again to a level above what was seen previously, particularly, if multiple operators are allowed in each market,” says Adrian Baker, owner of Diamond Imprints.
It all depends on what advertising rules and regulations are decided, says Steven Kanney, president and owner of Target Decorated Apparel (asi/90549). If promotional products companies are largely left alone, legalized sports betting could provide endless opportunities. “You might see some obscure sports gain popularity like cornhole or curling,” Kanney says. “It’s amazing what you can bet on.”
Original article published in Promogram