Will Betting Filter Down?

May 30, 2018

Thanks to the recent Supreme Court decision that allows states to offer legal sports betting, there are many questions on how the change will affect athletics. One question is whether betting on high school sports will become legal.

According to USA Today Sports, Jay Kornegay, Vice President of Race and Operations for the Westgate Las Vegas Sportsbook, believes high school sports wagering will not become prevalent. 

“We don’t take bets on any amateur events outside of college events, and that would include high school sports. I don’t see the need,” Kornegay said. “You would have to first change the regulations in the state of Nevada, because they don’t allow those wagers to be placed. I don’t think anyone is going to pursue it. We have plenty of events at the collegiate and pro level.”

Bob Gardner, Executive Director of the NFHS, said he was concerned about what sort of impact gambling would have on high school sports.

“Maintaining the integrity of all sports is critical to the system at every level,” he said. “If we think the high schools are immune to this, we are not seeing clearly. We ask that states do not include wagering on high school athletic contests in any sport as part of any legislation going forward.”

Larry White, the New Jersey State Interscholastic Activities Association's Executive Director, also implored legislators to keep gambling out of high school sports.

“We stand with the NFHS and ask that states not include wagering on high school athletic contests in any sport as part of any legislation going forward,” White said.

Tony Williams, founder of 5Dimes, offers odds for high school games, and said something similar exists in the United Kingdom.

“The youth World Cup events are shown globally on television,” he said. “What is the difference (between) betting on 15- and 16-year-old girls playing soccer or 17- and 18-year-old boys playing American football?”

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