Easier gambling has sports entities worried


OCEANPORT, N.J. (AP) — It’s early in a college basketball game and Team A, playing methodically and using up most of the 30-second shot clock, falls behind 10-6. Scattered around the bleachers, several fans staring at their smartphones celebrate silently: they have bet on Team B to be the first to reach 10 points and even promised two Team A starters a cut of the winnings.

With dozens of states rushing to capitalize on the U.S. Supreme Court lifting a federal ban on sports gambling, will fixed scenarios like the one above become more common?

The four major pro sports leagues and the NCAA think so, and have argued for years that expanding legal betting will lead to more game-fixing. The pro leagues have sought, unsuccessfully so far, a cut of state gambling revenues to increase monitoring.

Meanwhile, architects of New Jersey’s successful legal challenge to the sports gambling ban say those fears are overstated and that bringing sports betting out of the shadows will make it easier to detect illegal activity.

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