Dallas Cowboys Owner Jones: Sports Betting Doesn’t Compromise Game Integrity

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Chris Christie and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones became the second major professional sports owner in as many days to to say something positive about the legalization of sports betting in the US.

Talking with 105.3 The Fan in Dallas, Jones had this to say:

On Thursday, Tilman Fertitta, owner of the NBA’s Houston Rockets, had positive things to say about sports wagering as well.

Sports start reacting more to sports betting

The issue of sports gambling is becoming of increasing interest to the pro sports leagues in the US. They stand a chance of losing a case about sports betting in which they are involved.

A decision is pending in the US Supreme Court for Christie vs. NCAA, the case dealing with New Jersey trying to legalize sports wagering. A verdict in the case could lead to a widespread expansion of sports betting around the country. The NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL are also litigants in the case, in which they are using a federal law to block New Jersey’s sports betting aspirations.

Jones is friends with Gov. Chris Christie, the New Jersey governor whose name appears on the Supreme Court case.

The NFL on sports betting

The NFL has largely been quiet on what it sees for the future of sports betting in the US. The NBA, meanwhile, is actively calling for a federal framework to oversee it.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has said his league continues to oppose the legalization of sports betting. Earlier this year, the NFL decided it would move the Oakland Raiders to Las Vegas; Nevada is the only place where single-game sports betting is legal in the US.

Goodell famously said the regulated environment for Nevada sports betting could be beneficial this year.

Expect more chatter from the leagues

The leagues (other than the NBA) are likely scrambling to come up with a public relations strategy to deal with sports betting. Just this summer, they had little reason to worry that the climate for sports betting would change in the immediate future.

Then, the Supreme Court took up the NJ sports betting case and flipped conventional wisdom on its head. The potential of that case to open up sports wagering in the US is likely to force the leagues to define how they see their role in its future.