Giants co-owner John Mara has never been one for legalizing sports betting country-wide. But, now that the Supreme Court voted for it on May 14, he hopes the NFL can regulate it properly.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell broke his silence on the matter on Monday, saying he is going to have the top priority of making sure the integrity of the game is still upheld after this legalization. He also is asking Congress to keep in mind basic principles for those states that wish to make sports betting legal within their limits.
In a released statement, Goodell said: "We are asking Congress to enact uniform standards for states that choose to legalize sports betting that include, at a minimum, four core principles:
- There must be substantial consumer protections;
- Sports leagues can protect our content and intellectual property from those who attempt to steal or misuse it;
- Fans will ahve access to official, reliable league data; and
- Law enforcement will have the resources, monitoring and enforcement tools necessary to protect our fans and penalize bad actors here at home abroad."
Mara would be lying if he said he and other NFL owners are concerned as to how exactly this will work for the upcoming season.
"It's something certainly we've expected for quite some time right now, and we're all a little concerned about how it's going to work," he told SiriusXM NFL Radio on Thursday.
"I think the commissioner in asking Congress to enact some regulations to make sure that the states regulate this thing a little bit more. I'm a little concerned about there being 20 different ways of making bets and 20 different states doing different things. We're going have to see what happens with it."
Many believe that making sports betting legal will boost viewership not only for the NFL, but for the rest of the sports leagues that will be bet on. Mara agrees sports betting will certainly increase, but he doesn't think it will help the social side of things.
"Some people think it'll be positive because it'll increase viewership. I'm more concerned about the social aspects of it, whether it's just going to feed people's addictions and lead to more social problems," he said. "I've never been a proponent of it, but obviously we know it exists, we know people do bet on games. I think it's going to certainly increase now that it'll become legal, and it's just we'd like to see regulations imposed."
Monmouth Park in New Jersey is already trying to put together a sports book that they said could be up and running as early as Memorial Day Weekend, especially with the NBA Finals and Stanley Cup Final being played at the same time.