Sports gambling legalized in Virginia: the impact on local sports

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Ryan Ertlschweiger, Staff Writer

Placing bets on sports teams is almost as old as sports themselves, and with the recent legalization of sports gambling in Virginia, teams from Washington D.C. and Virginia may be seeing a change in their marketing strategy. Although many people watch sports because of their favorite teams or favorite players, placing bets on games you wouldn’t usually watch make that game almost as exciting to watch as your hometown team. These bets can draw more viewers, which means more money for those organizations. One of the biggest reasons recreational sports gambling was legalized was because it can create a boost in the economy by increasing employment, and increasing retail sales. However, with these positives comes a negative: excessive gambling addictions.

 

The downside to these bets placed on games is that they can become excessive, with some major gamblers putting down more than five bets on one game, putting lots of money on the line. When big money is lost, these people believe the only way to get their money back is to bet the same amount and win their money back. This constant cycle can, in extreme cases, lead to people going in debt, hurting the economy more than it’s helping it. Sports gambling has less addictive qualities to it then the traditional Las Vegas casino gambling that comes to mind when you think of betting, but it can still be an issue, which is why Virginia has certain precautions in place to protect the average citizen.

 

With the increased views due to sports bets, it will ultimately lead to a different approach in sports marketing. The Washington Football Team will find ways to market this new law into more viewers, more jerseys sold and more tickets bought. That goes for the Wizards, Nationals and Capitals as well. This sports gambling will bring more money into our community and create a better and more competitive atmosphere for sports fans. The ways a team can use the legalization of sports gambling to their advantage could be through creating a sense of competitive and close games, being sponsored by sports gambling organizations that can promote their games, and even explaining to fans how easy it is to put down bets, which can all be done through a few touches on your phone.

 

With all of these changes just from this law, it leads one to wonder what other ripple effects from sports gambling can impact the game in ways that may be hard to believe. While Virginia’s legalization of sports gambling brings on some risk, the benefits for our community, economy and the competitive edge in sports will out-weigh the risks, and make for better sports in Virginia and for the Washington D.C. teams.