Editors' Note: Place Your Bets

By David Savona , Marvin R. Shanken | From Matthew McConaughey, July/August 2018
Editors' Note: Place Your Bets
Photos/David Yellen

Gentlemen, you can bet. 

In May, the U.S. Supreme Court finally put an end to the longstanding ban on sports betting in most U.S. states. The court, in a 6-3 decision, struck down the 1992 law that made betting on sports illegal in every state save for Nevada. While that law is 26 years old—as old as this magazine—Washington’s war on sports betting goes back far longer, to the days prior to World War II. American citizens have long been denied the legal right to easily place a bet on baseball, football, basketball and other  games.

The antiquated law did nothing to stop sports betting, of course—it simply made it against the law. An estimated $150 billion to $200 billion is bet annually on sports, the vast majority of it illegal. Sports betting is a big business, and we understand its allure. A bet makes watching a game more entertaining, whether you have a big wager on your favorite baseball team, a small bet with a friend on the NBA championship or a few $10 boxes in your office Super Bowl pool. 

It was high time to end the ban. The Supreme Court ruling will allow states to open legal avenues for consumers to bet on sports, from luxe sports books in the style of Las Vegas or London, to websites bringing legal sports betting to your phone, tablet or laptop. As one of the few magazines to regularly cover gambling, we have dedicated two major features to this subject. It’s fun to place a bet, but it’s more fun to win. Sheridan will point you in the right direction.

And when it comes to sports, no one could have bet that the Vegas Golden Knights—a team playing its first season in the National Hockey League—could have done so well so soon. It’s the greatest Cinderella story in the history of pro sports, and associate editor Andrew Nagy flew out to Las Vegas in the middle of their epic playoff run, and found out that the people of Las Vegas love the Knights for reasons that go beyond their success on ice. 

The Knights have made hockey fans out of both of us. 

Enjoy the issue.