The Twelve Beneficiaries of Legalized Sports Betting: An Exploratory Assessment

Sam Fullerton, Eastern Michigan University
Michael McCall, Michigan State University
Ronald Dick, Duquesne University

Sam Fullerton received his PhD in Marketing from Michigan State University. He is a Professor of Marketing at Eastern Michigan University. He has also served as a visiting professor/scholar at the University of Michigan, the University of Waikato (NZ), Queensland University of Technology (Australia), the University of Southern Queensland (Australia), and the North West University (South Africa) where has the title of Extraordinary Professor. His research primarily focuses on ethics, sports marketing, and technomarketing. In recent years, his research has appeared in Sport Marketing Quarterly, the Strategic Management Journal, the Journal of Applied Marketing Theory, the Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics, the Australasian Marketing Journal, and Health Marketing Quarterly. He has received ten best paper awards at conferences including AMTP and SMA. He has also authored books on Sports Marketing, Contemporary Selling, and Marketing Research.

Michael McCall is the NAMA Endowed Professor of Hospitality Business in the School of Hospitality, at Michigan State University. His primary research interests are in customer loyalty, gaming/ sports marketing, and statistical approaches to measuring customer value. This is his 19th AMTP and he hopes that along with Sam and Dave that we take home the AMTP golf title, again. He also spends as much time as possible hiking the red rocks of Sedona AZ.

Dr. Ronald Dick is an Associate Professor of Sport Marketing at Duquesne University in the School of Business and previously was an Assistant Professor in Sport Management at James Madison University and an Associate Professor at the University of New Haven. He has 15 years experience in the NBA with the Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Nets, then was the Director of Athletics at Marian College (WI) and Assistant Athletic Director for Ticket Operations at the University of Houston.


The 2018 ruling by the United States Supreme Court essentially legalized sports betting across the nation. Prior to that ruling, sports books were restricted by virtue of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA). But with that landmark 6-3 decision, the opportunity door for sports betting has been opened for all 50 states. This paper focuses on two considerations regarding the opening of that door. Who are the potential beneficiaries and what benefits might they derive? A review of the literature identified twelve beneficiaries; among these beneficiaries are the teams, organizations, fans, sponsors, bettors, and society-in-general. The majority of the benefits revolve around financial considerations, but it is not always as straight-forward as cash. So, while the NBA is benefitting from a cash flow from its casino sponsor, society-in-general may be benefitting from enriched educational resources and a better infrastructure. This paper delineates potential benefits for each of the twelve beneficiaries that have been identified.