Weekly Column: Sports Betting has Become Pop Culture

In his capacity as a Columnist for California Sports Lawyer®, Founder Jeremy Evans has written a column about the growth of sports betting along with popular culture and regulations in the National Football League.

You can read the full column below.


Have you heard about music pop star sensation Taylor Swift and Kansas City Chiefs Pro Bowl tight end Travis Kelce recently?  Maybe you saw the social media joke played on thousands of couples where a spouse, boyfriend, or girlfriend joked that Swift placed Kelce on the proverbial map, which was followed by a long argument without the person being asked the question knowing they were being filmed.  The Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift relationship has reached a feverish level; NBA team owner Mark Cuban recently joked that Swift should break it off with Kelce so that she can date one of the Dallas Mavericks players.

The sports books are now offering betting props that are Swift-Kelce themed.  Kelce was already gaining popularity in his dual host podcast with his brother.  Swift-Kelce are a marketing dream for a team and their social media followings and merchandise sales and collaborations.  A Kansas City Chiefs jersey with Swift’s name and a no. 1 anyone?

With betting expansion, however, has come the worry about addiction and impropriety.  The NFL has now implemented rules with severe penalties for players who bet on their own games.  An NFL player caught betting on their own team will face a two-year ban.  An NFL player caught fixing games will potentially face a lifetime ban.  There are lesser penalties for players who violate the NFL’s betting policy, which will result in at least two players being reinstated immediately.

Sports betting is proven to increase engagement in games.  Meaning, logically, that a person who spends money on the games outcome is likely to care more to watch or engage with the content.  In the past, sports betting was something hard to come by legally unless one visited Las Vegas or another gambling town.  

Now, NFL fans can bet on games while streaming from their homes or mobile devices in states where sports betting is allowed.  Half of the states in the Union now have legalized sports betting in some fashion.  Next door to California, Arizona allows for in-person and mobile sports betting and even at games.  The tax revenues are significant.  The State of New York, for example, collects 51% of every sports betting dollar.

Making sure protections against addiction, help for addiction, and policies with regulatory and disciplinary teeth for cheating and impropriety will be essential to continued success for both licensees, bettors, and the public.  The last thing sports leagues and collegiate athletic departments want is the Wild West of sports betting similar to the rollout of the NIL laws.  Following trends in the English Premier League, the next issue likely to be monitored by sports leagues are sponsorship dollars and ad placement for sports books with jerseys and stadiums.  


About Jeremy M. Evans:

Jeremy M. Evans is the Chief Entrepreneur Officer, Founder & Managing Attorney at California Sports Lawyer®, representing entertainment, media, and sports clients in contractual, intellectual property, and dealmaking matters. Evans is an award-winning attorney and industry leader based in Los Angeles and Newport Beach, California. He can be reached at Jeremy@CSLlegal.com. www.CSLlegal.com.  

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Jeremy M. Evans is the CEO, Founder & Managing Attorney of California Sports Lawyer® representing entertainment, media, and sports clients and is licensed to practice law in California.