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Volume 24 No. 115

Sports in Society

The NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL and the NCAA -- in a suit against the state of New Jersey in its pursuit to legalize sports betting -- "may have to turn over 10 years' worth of documents regarding the potential impact of sports betting, fantasy sports leagues and even ‘March Madness’ office pools on consumer perceptions of the integrity of the games, their loyalties, ticket sales, attendance, revenue or broadcast ratings” according to Wayne Parry of the AP. A proposed court order agreed to by both sides states that the leagues would be required to "produce documents sufficient to describe fantasy sports games or activities involving gambling on professional or amateur sports, if any, that are operated by or on behalf" of the leagues. New Jersey is also “seeking depositions from the commissioners of each of the leagues.” Both sides are proposing that NCAA President Mark Emmert, NBA Commissioner David Stern, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and MLB Commissioner Bud Selig “spend no more than four hours apiece giving their depositions.” The leagues would “have to turn over any official statements they have made within the last five years about whether they support or oppose gambling on professional and amateur sports, as well as any documents that the commissioners relied upon in making those statements” (AP, 10/17).