Jeremy D. Frey, a partner in the White Collar Litigation and Investigations Practice Group of Pepper Hamilton, was quoted in the May 15, 2018 NJ.com article, "Sports Betting: What's Next for NCAA, College Athletics After Supreme Court Decision?"
A slew of policy changes by the NCAA appears inevitable, and some have already begun. The main focus for the NCAA and other sports leagues following the Murphy vs. NCAA decision, according to Jeremy Frey, a partner at Pepper Hamilton LLC’s gaming industry practice, will be to push for sports betting proliferation, or a uniform state-by-state approach nationwide for those states that do allow sports gambling.
“One by one, states are going to start to adopt it and one by one, I think we’re going to start to have a more sensible regime, because you can imagine how complicated this is when you have to keep all your activity within [a state],” said Frey, who works out of Pepper Hamilton’s Princeton and Philadelphia offices and has taught at Rutgers Law School.
“At the end of the day, it needs to be all one thing or the other. Otherwise it’s a mess. It’s a patchwork of a little of this and a little of that, and you never know if your bank transmission through a state that doesn’t have permitted sports betting is going to be a violation of that state’s law. All these operators, subject to the integrity issues, are ultimately going to be in favor of sports gambling because it’s going to provide revenue.”
It’s important to understand what exactly the Court ruled, Frey said. The decision said it was unconstitutional for PASPA to prohibit states from authorizing sports gambling, but made it clear Congress still has the ability to regulate sports betting, up to and including a national prohibition – a measure Frey said he considers very unlikely.
“It may be,” Frey said. “There are going to be some individual variations among the different sports, how they’re organized and their compensation arrangements that may produce some differences in how they approach the issue. But I think at the end of the day, structurally, this is how it’s got to go. Sports betting is coming like it came in Europe. There are going to be risks and costs associated with it, but there are going to be benefits that arise from a greater interest in sports.”
The possibility the NCAA could tap a new and potentially lucrative revenue stream, while still withholding further compensation from athletes, rankled many Monday. But that issue does not necessarily mesh with the sports betting matter, Frey said, adding he does think college athletes will eventually be paid in some fashion.
“The compensation matter is so complicated. There are so many people who have different views. The answer ultimately depends on those structural decisions, but it’s way beyond the subject here, which is a legal development,” he said. “I happen to think it’s likely (compensation comes). I think we’re monetizing everything, and we’re going to monetize this just like everything else. There’s no reason why there can’t be pay for services, and I think that’s where this is headed.
“I think the NCAA is in a different space right now because of the way it organizes itself, but ultimately it winds up in the same place with everyone else.”
The compliance regimes that are set up in the wake of the Court’s decision will play a major role in managing the risk of illegal or inappropriate conduct, Frey said.