Major League Soccer Commish Says He Supports Sports Betting Legalization

[toc]On Dec. 4, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) will hear oral arguments from the state of New Jersey and the N.J. Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, arguments that will no doubt point to one demand: Repeal the Professional And Amateur Sports Betting Act (PASPA).

Arguing against NJ will be the NCAA and four of the five major professional sports leagues in the land: the NFL, MLB, NBA, and NHL. Noticeably absent from the list is Major League Soccer and, last week, league commissioner Don Garber told Yahoo Finance why he supports sports betting in the United States.

“I am a big proponent that it’s going to happen, we might as well be in front of it. I think there are great values to our tax revenues to be able to do that, I don’t think we can stop it, so maybe we’d even lead the charge,” Garber said at Yahoo Finance’s All Markets Summit.

Garber’s vocal support of sports betting — albeit a simple, “It’s gonna happen anyway” argument — is yet another indication that America is most likely ready for sports betting.

“I do believe that we could lead this effort, because I don’t know that everybody will see soccer as having the same challenges that perhaps would exist if the NFL was going to come out in support of it,” said Garber.

Legal sports betting works in England, so why not in the US?

Garber’s argument was a little more complex than citing the inevitability factor. During his explanation of why he supports sports gambling, he pointed to the popularity of sports betting at some of England’s premier soccer venues.

“Gambling on games, betting on games, is part of the DNA of football around the world. Go to a game in Chelsea or in Stamford Bridge, somebody’s coming to your seat or in your box with a tout sheet, and you can place a bet,” he said.

Not the first time Garber has backed sports betting

Garber was vocal about sports betting back in March before NJ had a date with SCOTUS. The MLS commish was at SXSW in Austin, Texas, when he said the US needs to come out of the Stone Age and legalize sports betting.

It seems that Garber isn’t the only one open to putting cash on games. A recent Washington Post survey revealed that, for the first time since the inception of the PASPA in 1992, the American public supports legalized sports betting.

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Image credit: lev radin /

About the Author

J.R. Duren

A three-time winner of the Florida Press Club Excellence in Journalism contest, J.R. Duren works as a freelance writer with a focus on the NJ online gambling and online casino industry. He writes for a number of publications, including Bespoke Post, Our Amazing Norway, Barcelona Metropolitan, Snooth, and the Villages Daily Sun.