The Supreme Court recently opened the door for states to offer legalized sports betting. More than two dozen states are in various stages of making moves to introduce – and tax – this form of gambling, or have done so already. Left out of the dialogue to date: How to use this opportunity to serve the public interest.
Tom Farrey, executive director of the Aspen Institute Sports & Society Program, put a big idea on the table in an op-ed published in the Denver Post, and co-published on our website. What if states borrowed from the lessons of Colorado and Norway and used revenues to build healthier communities through sports?
On Sept. 14, we explored this opportunity, as well as ways to minimize problems that could flow with the inevitable expansion of sports betting (addictive gambling, game integrity, our values). Speakers included:
- Morgan Sword, Major League Baseball senior vice president of league economics and operations
- Bill Coley, Ohio state senator, president of the National Council of Legislators from Gaming States
- Tom Cove, Sports & Fitness Industry Association CEO
- Daniel Wallach, Becker & Poliakoff gaming and sports law attorney
- Dr. Laila Mintas, Sportradar US deputy president
- Keith Whyte, National Council on Problem Gambling executive director
- James Kilsby, Gambling Compliance managing director, Americas
- Tom Farrey, Aspen Institute Sports & Society Program executive director
- The risks and rewards of the Supreme Court’s gambling decision, by Sean Gregory, TIME
- Sports betting in an alternative universe: Experts opine on what they should change, by John Brennan, DGS Media/usbets.com
- Why sports betting revenue should be directed toward youth sports, by Bob Cook, Forbes
Note: Due to flooding in the basement of the Aspen Institute building, this event was moved to a new venue at the last minute and we were unable to shoot video of the discussion.
Future of Sports is a new quarterly conversation series by the Sports & Society Program. Our first event in January was Future of Football: Reimagining the Game’s Pipeline. Our second event in May was Future of College Sports: Reimagining Athlete Pay. We will explore four topics in 2018 with thought leaders, encouraging them to consider the major trends and potential policy shifts on the table, and ask: What if? In doing so, we aim to help stakeholders think through key questions shaping the future of our games, the sports industry and its impact on society.
The Sports & Society Program thanks Marilyn and Michael Glosserman for their generous support of the Future of Sports conversation series.