Part 1 | Behind the Book: The History Behind WagerEasy
A behind-the-scenes look at Tom Farrell’s sports betting book, WagerEasy.
It was the kind of change America usually doesn’t see. We like our change to come about gradually with the opportunity to debate, read and digest articles published by experts, and become outraged by the status quo. Finally, movements grow and gain momentum, Congress holds hearings and fiddles around with the issue, petitions are signed and there is a vote. Maybe we even vote on it more than once before it passes like the legalization of pot in many states. So when the sports betting laws were changed by the Supreme Court with the bang of a gavel on May 14, 2018, some people were caught by surprise.
Others had seen the writing on the wall during oral arguments in December, 2017. The professional sports leagues that had fought the case brought by the state of New Jersey to the Supreme Court began to warm to the idea of sports betting and called a reverse.
No longer would they take a position that sports betting would undermine the integrity of the game, now they would adopt sports betting as a means to oversee the betting industry and preserve the integrity of the game.
Even mundane sports statistics once relegated to the back of the sports pages were elevated to the status of data that could be offered at a premium to the betting industry. New technology would drive innovation and provide more betting opportunities for the sports bettor.
Owners saw dollar signs wherever they looked.
The abrupt change made for a mad scramble. It wasn’t as if this was a minor industry. Sports betting had thrived over the years in the black market of illegal bookies. Some estimates pegged the industry at 150 billion annually while others estimated it at 400 billion.
Whatever the exact amount, many states quickly caught the scent of revenue that could be taxed. The number would look good on the bottom line and it would make the public happy since gambling of every kind had been legalized. Many states were already in the gambling business running state lotteries and had approved casinos.
The sports betting Euro contingent that includes companies valued at more than a billion dollars had salivated over the American market for years. They were well-funded, could advertise and offer introductory offers on their platforms. They also had a secret weapon – in-play wagering with mobile apps to attract the busy, tech-savvy millennial so popular in Europe.
Sports bets could be offered during the game – if the kicker would make the winning field goal or if the next hitter would hit a home run. Minute-by-minute action with betting opportunities to be hashed out and handicapped by the bettor during those obscene commercials. Nothing would be the same. It didn’t matter if the game was a blowout, the action could continue.
Continue your behind-the-scenes look at Tom Farrell’s sports betting book, WagerEasy on the next post!