Red Sox hopeful betting laws will bring fans closer
With sports betting looking like more of a reality in the United States with each passing year, teams are hoping that the increase in legal wagering will lead to an increased interest in sports from fans on a consistent basis. One such team is the Boston Red Sox, who are hoping that surrounding states legalizing sports betting will produce an increased interest in their product not just in the postseason, but throughout the regular season as well.
Sports betting has been legalized in Rhode Island, a state right next to Massachusetts, the home of the Red Sox. And the team is confident that legalization in Rhode Island will lead to more interest in the team as a whole. The question then becomes what that increased interest looks like and how it will help the Sox as a franchise.
In terms of any increased interest in the Sox helping the team's bottom line, one would have to think that would come as a result of improved television ratings. With sports betting requiring a financial investment from the bettor, it would be hard to imagine that there would be a huge increase in ticket sales if more people were betting on Red Sox games. But it is entirely possible that more fans would watch games on television if they had a financial interest in doing so. Those improved ratings would mean more favorable advertising rates, which could mean increased rights fees for Sox coverage going forward.
And the Red Sox hope that there will be even more interest in the team soon, as Massachusetts itself hopes to get into the sports betting game. State officials have introduced legislation to legalize online sports betting in the state, as well as sports betting in casinos. The club is presumably hoping that happens, to generate further interest in the most important state for the health of the Red Sox.
In other areas where gambling has been made legal, there are plenty of examples of sports teams having a closer bond with their communities thanks to the ability to wager on their games. One such example is Las Vegas, where the Vegas Golden Knights had an instant bond with a community that routinely wagered on them during their first season in town, a season where the support from fans helped them reach the Stanley Cup Final.
And it doesn't need to just be sports betting that can tie fans closer to the team. Creative tie-ins with casino betting could grow the bond between team and fan as well. For the northern rivals of the Red Sox, the Toronto Blue Jays, partnerships with Jackpot City at popular Canadian television stations have helped nurture a similar relationship that the Sox are hoping that sports betting can forge with Boston area fans.
Some professional sports franchises have clearly seen that betting can help the overall health of their operation, and the Boston Red Sox are one of them. Whether or not they will get their wish of widespread legalization anytime soon remains to be seen.