Top Sports and Gaming Stories of 2017

From the Vegas Golden Knights to legalized sports betting in the United States, a look at some of the top stories in sports and gaming that happened in 2017.

Sports and Gaming Stories from Legalized Sports Betting to Vegas Golden Knights

Some of the significant sports stories of the year are being recapped by many news and sports outlets, and Las Vegas was part of the biggest stories of the sports seasons. We've provided a list to some of the stories in the links below, and there are plenty of articles each week covering the NHL expansion Vegas Golden Knights, who have surprised so many with their strong play and remarkable run to first place through the opening three months of the regular season.

I provided some insight into the Golden Knights remarkable run, and how from a betting perspective the Knights have been Golden for their betting backers.

Top 2017 sports and gaming storiesThe Vegas Golden Knights Remarkable Run

In March, the NFL and its owners approved the Raiders move to Las Vegas. The ground breaking event for the new stadium started in November, and there are now articles every week about the Raiders, stadium project and impact of their future home just off the Las Vegas strip. The Raiders will start play in Las Vegas in 2020.

The legalization of sports betting nationwide has been a hot topic this year and has been another significant sports story since the Dec. 4 oral arguments were presented to the Supreme Court in the Christie vs NCAA case. The American Gaming Association (AGA) is a relentless advocate for the gaming industry and one of the biggest lobbyist for building awareness and support towards the legalization of sports betting. Geoff Freeman, President and CEO of the AGA, provided some insight into what Tax Reform means for gaming after Congress approved this month the most extensive changes to the tax code since 1986.

I provided a little coverage about New Jersey and the sports betting case, and you can read more about the legal impact and insight from attorney Daniel Wallach, who is well-versed on gaming and who I had discussions with while attending the Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas.

New Jersey and other States to Benefit from Sports Betting Case

How the Supreme Court Could Hand a Win to New Jersey and Sports Betting

Other top gaming stories of 2017 are recapped by a Hartley Henderson, a colleague of ours at the Off Shore Gaming Association, and includes another Las Vegas connection with the sentencing of Billy Walters, a noted high-end sports bettor and gambler in Las Vegas. Other big gambling stories include:

• The growth of horse racing in New Jersey thanks to exchange wagering
• The recusal of Jeff Sessions from online gambling legislation and the hiring of Rod Rosenstein
• The changing fortunes of Atlantic City casinos
• The choice of Great Canadian Gaming for the Toronto Casino bid despite a money laundering investigation

Other storylines that defined the year in sports included the Mayweather-McGregor boxing bout in Las Vegas, which drew a record handle of $65 million as bettors became enamored with the MMA fighter Connor McGregor, who made a good account of himself before the undefeated Floyd 'Money' Mayweather took him out in the later rounds. Some big bets including $880,000 by a Las Vegas casino owner and other $1 million bets came in on Mayweather, who himself is a noted high-end gambler.

The Vegas Sports and Information Network (VSiN) made its debut on SiriusXM Channel 204 in February, and became the first media network dedicated to sports betting information. Broadcasting legend Brent Musburger is the name and brand leading the network into the new generation of sports from a betting perspective, and the show runs throughout the day with various segments discussing sports, betting, analysis, data, analytics, and insight from the sports book directors, gaming industry insiders and other sports guests live from the SouthPoint Hotel and Casino on the south end of the Las Vegas Strip.

More records were broken during March Madness, as the leading offshore sports books took big betting action on the NCAA basketball tournament, and Nevada set a record handle of more than $300 million wagered on the NCAA Tournament.

The unrest in the NFL continued and included the Colin Kaepernick-led protests during the National Anthem to bring attention to racial inequality and police brutality. Television ratings have fallen for the NFL, but fantasy football and sports betting remain big business as bettors love pro football, and in-game wagering on the NFL and other sports continues to grow. That's especially true on the biggest games including the Super Bowl with all the proposition wagers. The improbable comeback from the Patriots to defeat the Falcons in overtime provided an entertaining finish, and another record handle in Nevada as more than $130 million was wagered on the Super Bowl.

Clemson mounted a last-second comeback to beat Alabama for college football's national championship. And those two teams meet again in this year's national semifinal game in the Sugar Bowl to kickoff the New Year in 2018. That should lead us into another memorable year in sports and gaming.

Best wishes as you kickoff your New Year and Shoot for more Fairways and Greens. Swing with a purpose and fire to the Flag, avoid the Hazards and use good Course management skills and your game will flourish with more Pars, Birdies and trips to the Clubhouse, cashier and Winners Circle. You can Bet on it.

FairwayJay is a leading national sports handicapper and is recognized as one of the sports industry's most insightful analysts. Read more great insights from Jay here and follow him on Twitter: @FairwayJay

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