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Supreme Court Opens The Door to Legalized Sports Betting

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The Supreme Court has opened the door for legalization of sports betting. In a decision which many had been monitoring closely, the court ruled 6-3 against the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PAPSA), a 1992 law which prohibited state-authorized sports gambling with a few exceptions. The only state which an individual could place a bet on the results of a game, fight or event was Nevada.

As a result of the reversal, states will now have the opportunity to choose whether or not to allow legal sports betting. New Jersey is expected to become the first. Pennsylvania, New York, Delaware, Mississippi, and West Virginia are other states which many believe will also give the approval to allow legalized gaming activity.

“We think this is exciting and long overdue news,” said Brian Musburger, CEO of VSiN, the Vegas Stats and Information Network. “People have been betting on sports in New Jersey and across the country for a very long time –  sports fans everywhere enjoy a little skin in the game. In case NJ is wondering, Vegas has set the season win total for the Giants at 6.5, the Jets at 6 and the Eagles at 10. Have at em…”

The NCAA, NFL, NBA, NHL and Major League Baseball had been involved in a nearly six year legal battle with the state of New Jersey, first suing former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie in August 2012. Throughout the process they had won most of their arguments, but that momentum shifted last June, when the Supreme Court took on the case. Both sides presented their case on December 4th, and five months later the justices revealed their decision.

“Congress can regulate sports gambling directly, but if it elects not to do so, each State is free to act on its own,” the court announced. “Our job is to interpret the law Congress has enacted and decide whether it is consistent with the Constitution. PAPSA is not.”

Upon learning of the decision, Christie tweeted “it’s a great day for the rights of states and their people to make their own decisions.” New Jersey’s current governor, Phil Murphy was also pleased with the ruling and said he looks forward to working with the legislature to enact a law authorizing and regulating sports betting in the very near future.

The leagues were of course not pleased with the decision. NBA commissioner Adam Silver said “We remain in favor of a federal framework that would provide a uniform approach to sports gambling in states that choose to permit it, but we will remain active in ongoing discussions with state legislatures. Regardless of the particulars of any future sports betting law, the integrity of our game remains our highest priority.”

MLB also issued a statement, adding “Our most important priority is protecting the integrity of our games. We will continue to support legislation that creates air-tight coordination and partnerships between the state, the casino operators and the governing bodies in sports toward that goal.”

For close to 26 years, Nevada has been the only state allowed to offer a wide array of sports betting options. In 2017, a record $4.8 billion was wagered at Nevada sportsbooks. Legalized sports betting is already in place in Canada, France, the United Kingdom, Australia, and many others. The United States becomes the latest country to open the door to profiting off of legal sports gaming.

According to The American Gaming Association, Americans illegally wager close to $150 billion on sports each year. For the immediate future, most bets will be placed at local establishments, but mobile sports betting is expected to be a huge part of the future. Once that’s introduced as an option, it’s a practical lock that the amount of money invested in sports betting will reach record highs. That’s one bet worth placing.

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John Buccigross: Return Of NHL ‘Reenergized’ Me In ESPN Role

“I’m just grateful that I was able to get reenergized without leaving the company that I’ve worked for so long.”

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John Buccigross is probably the most thankful out of anyone that the NHL returned to the ESPN airwaves this season.

Bucci has been at the network for 25 years and was a part of the coverage team the last time ESPN had NHL broadcast rights. He told Awful Announcing that the change after the 2003-04 season really helped change his focus at the network.

“It’s probably a good thing that it went away back in 2004, because I was able to focus on SportsCenter and kind of move up the ladder there, and maybe I never would have if hockey had stayed all these years,” he said. “Maybe that was good. And then I got involved with college hockey, I asked to do play-by-play a couple of years after we lost the NHL, so I’ve been doing college hockey for over 15 years with play-by-play, hoping we would get the NHL back and then I could do NHL play-by-play.”

Now the NHL is back, the Stanley Cup Final will air on ESPN and ABC, and John Buccigross will be a part of it in some fashion. He said having the chance to pick back up where he left off all those years ago gave him a second wind in his career.

“It’s been absolutely fantastic. It couldn’t have come at a better time for me in my career, being at ESPN over 25 years,” he said. “To kind of get reenergized, reinvigorated with your job after being in the same place for 25 years, that’s probably pretty rare. I’m just grateful that I was able to get reenergized without leaving the company that I’ve worked for so long. At this stage of my career, it was just perfect timing.”

ESPN and Turner Sports replaced NBC Sports as the U.S. broadcast rightsholders for the NHL this season.

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Mark Sanchez Emerges As Potential #2 NFL Analyst At FOX

“It is believed that Joe Davis will be the play-by-play man to sit opposite either Brees or Sanchez in the booth.”

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Football season is 104 days away and FOX is still sorting out its broadcast crews for the upcoming season.

Enter former New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez as one of the top candidates being considered for the number two booth at FOX this season.

Andrew Marchand of The New York Post reported that if Drew Brees doesn’t end up in the role, Sanchez is next in line. Greg Olsen and Kevin Burkhardt will comprise the top broadcast team for FOX this season.

It is believed that Joe Davis will be the play-by-play man to sit opposite either Brees or Sanchez in the booth. Marchand reported that Sanchez made a great impression on producers in auditions and tests.

Mark Sanchez began his broadcasting career three years ago. After two seasons of covering college football for ESPN, he made the move to FOX last year.

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Tracy McGrady’s Basketball League Enters Media Partnership With Showtime

“The Showtime Basketball brand will create a behind-the-scenes documentary following the OBL’s 2022 tour.”

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Hall of Famer Tracy McGrady launched his own basketball league this year. Ones Basketball League is a touring competition to find the best one-on-one basketball players in the country. Now fans can follow the action on Showtime.

The Showtime Basketball brand will create a behind-the-scenes documentary following the OBL’s 2022 tour. The all-access series will put new episodes on the Showtime YouTube channel.

“The production and creative team at Showtime Sports knows how to build and tell stories like no one else, and the detailed background and exciting drama we have already started to capture with OBL makes this content partnership a perfect fit for us,” McGrady said in a press release. “The team at Showtime shares our excitement for putting a spotlight on one-on-one basketball and all of the great action, rich stories, and hyper-competition that flows from the game.”

OBL competitions from now until the end of the season will be documented. Each tour stop features a 2-day, 32-player competition. Three of the league’s six competitions are complete.

Showtime will be there for stops in New York, Springfield, Virginia, and Los Angeles as well as the championship tournament in Las Vegas.

“We believe in Tracy’s vision and are thrilled to be working with the OBL on their inaugural season,” Brian Dailey, SVP of Sports Programming & Content for Showtime Networks Inc, added. “This collaboration embodies the Showtime Basketball brand — premium, bold and boundary-pushing. We are delighted to welcome Tracy and the OBL team to our unmatched lineup of content and talent.”

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