‘American Sports Gambler’ Named Person of the Year By Sports Business Journal

Posted on: December 18, 2018, 08:06h. 

Last updated on: December 18, 2018, 08:06h.

The “American Sports Gambler” has been named the most influential “person” of the year by the Sports Business Daily Journal, a media outlet that’s focused on providing ” the top decision-makers in sports with real-time industry news, allowing them to make more informed business decisions.”

sports betting gambling PASPA
If you’ve placed a sports wager over the last 12 months, one media outlet says you were the most influential person in the sports world in 2018. (Image: Noah K. Murray/AP)

The American sports bettor beat out the four commissioners of the “big four” professional US sports leagues, the NBA’s Adam Silver (No. 2), NFL’s Roger Goodell (No. 3), MLB’s Rob Manfred (No. 5), and NHL’s Gary Bettman (No. 10).

When the US Supreme Court cleared the way for states to legalize sports betting in May, the pro sports establishment not only accepted the ruling, it embraced it,” the Sports Business Journal wrote. “The industry’s approach changed because American Sports Gamblers changed.”

The person who makes a sports wager was also more influential than No. 4 Eric Shanks, the Fox Sports executive who brought Thursday Night Football to the network and hit a homerun deal to keep the World Series through 2028.

The Sports Business Journal’s 2017 Most Influential person was President Donald Trump. “This isn’t a choice we wanted to make,” the sports news organization wrote last year. “For his angry, loud and visceral rhetoric that has divided the sports industry and caused massive reaction, response and reflection, President Donald Trump is … the Most Influential Person in Sports Business.”

How We Got Here

At this time last year, the only place a gambler could place a legal moneyline or spread bet was in Nevada. Delaware had parlay betting, but only sportsbooks in the Silver State could offer single game wagers.

It was this month a year ago that the US Supreme Court heard arguments as to why the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) was a federal law that ran afoul of the US Constitution. In May, the court decided in a 6-3 decision that it indeed violated anti-commandeering interpretations of the Tenth Amendment.

With PASPA repealed, states are free to set their own rules and regulations on sports betting. And seven states have moved quickly to join Nevada in allowing full-fledged sports gambling to occur within their jurisdictions.

Murren Makes Grade

MGM Resorts CEO Jim Murren was ranked No. 23 on the Sports Business Journal’s Most Influential list. The casino executive is a newcomer to the rankings.

Even before the Supreme Court cleared the way for sports betting beyond Nevada, Murren had emerged as an influential player in sports on the local scene. Tack on a trio of deals with the NBA, NHL and MLB in the newly opened sportsbook category and you’ve got a meteoric rise into the upper echelons of influence that reaches well beyond the Vegas strip,” the Sports Business Journal wrote.

In August, Murren’s company became the first casino operator to score a deal with one of the “big four” professional sports leagues. The historic partnership gives MGM Resorts real-time NBA data and allows the company to use the league’s branding at its sportsbooks across the country.