When history looks back on May 2018, it could very well be the month the American sports landscape changed forever. The Supreme Court ruled that states can now legalize sports betting. While there will be some loud opposition to the ruling by those who say this harm the integrity of our sports, Europeans have been gambling on their athletic endeavors without the leagues collapsing under scandals and controversy. Now that states and leagues/teams can profit from gambling, you can bet (pun intended) owners and players unions will keep things legit, so as to not kill the golden goose.
So what does this have to do with our Buffalo Bills? At some point in the future, the Pegulas (with pressure from Goodell and the other 31 franchises) will break ground on new digs for the Bills and now that sports gambling will, eventually, become legal in New York State, they can benefit even more from a move from New Era Field.
While fans sometimes lose sight of this, owners never do: sports is a business. Yes, owners wan to win and be successful, but making money is just as important, if not more, than racking up Ws. (Looking at you Jeffrey Loria.) A way to maximize profit is to find a way to make a stadium a destination spot aside from the 8-12 games played there a year.
One way that can be accomplished now is through a sports book. Now, I am not saying that there needs to be a sports book located in a new Bills stadium. Rather, I think of what the Patriots have with Patriots Place where shopping and fun can happen outside of when the Patriots are dominating the rest of the league.
Having a now legal place for people to place bets on sports and other things would make “Bills Place” a place to be all year. People like to gamble, even if it is a few bucks and combine that with say, Duffs or Anchor Bar wings and the Bills would have a winning combination.
So, while the sports nation may be thinking how legalized gambling affects things on a macro level, I hope the Pegulas are taking a micro view of this and thinking about how betting can make a new Bills stadium more than just a football destination.