In 2018, the Supreme Court made a ruling which legalized gambling on college and professional sports. The landmark ruling lifted a ban on sports betting, which had been in place since 1992. Since the ruling, 13 states have legalized sports betting, reports 247 Sports. Six other states have passed bills regarding sports betting. However, in the state of Nebraska, the legalization of sports betting has encountered some strong opposition from one of the state’s most legendary sports figures.

Osborne’s time as Nebraska’s head coach

Former Nebraska Huskers' college football coach, Tom Osborne, has stated that he does not support legalizing sports gambling in the state. Osborne was head coach of the Huskers from 1973 to 1997, leading the team to three National Championships. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1999. Osborne’s popularity in the state of Nebraska was evident in 2000 when he won the election to serve as a congressman. He was again re-elected in 2004. The former Husker’s coach was against sports betting legalization during his political career.

This week, he came out to speak against plans seeking to make gambling legal in Nebraska.

Gambling will change the nature of athletics

According to Osborne, his experience as the Huskers head coach is one of the major reasons he is opposed to legal gambling. The Hall of Famer fears that once betting made legal, the family atmosphere at college football games will suffer. Fans will be more worried about their own profit margins than supporting the team.

“Most of the really unpleasant interactions I had with fans were people who had lost a bet. I think this will change the nature of the stadium, the nature of athletics, and damage it to a significant degree.” Osborne also argues that social costs, such as addiction to gambling, will outweigh the benefits of increased revenue to the state.

Nebraska is already losing revenue

Another Nebraska sports legend agrees with Osborne’s comments.

1972 Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Rodgers, who won the trophy while playing for the Huskers, says legalizing gambling will put more pressure on college athletes. However, supporters of the bill argue that the state of Nebraska is already losing revenue to other states which have legalized sports wagering. Senator Justin Wayne, who is sponsoring a bill to legalize gambling in the state, says Nebraska could use the money generated from gambling. “We need to look at all revenue, such as sports betting, as revenue streams to solve some of our crisis around property tax.” Let us know what you think about Osborne's view, put your comment in the comment section.

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