Legalized sports betting will not make a difference to NHL players, Flyers general manager Ron Hextall said.
“I can’t imagine it’s going to have any effect on our players,” Hextall said Monday afternoon after the Supreme Court made sports betting legal in the United States, a decision that was especially hailed in New Jersey because the state has been fighting to legalize sports betting in casinos and racetracks. “They go out and play hockey. We have good people, so I can’t imagine that it will affect them at all.”
Ted Leonsis, owner of the NHL’s Washington Capitals and the NBA’s Washington Wizards, said in a statement that the decision “brings a multibillion-dollar industry out of the shadows and into the sunlight, where its integrity can be guaranteed and consumers can be better protected.”
Leonsis said that the decision will “change the face of sports fandom for the better” and that it will “bring fans closer to the game, ramping up the action in each minute and creating more intensity.”
The NHL said in a statement, “The Supreme Court’s decision today paves the way to an entirely different landscape – one in which we have not previously operated. We will review our current practices and policies and decide whether adjustments are needed.”
It said the decision had “no immediate impact on existing league rules relating to sports wagering, and particularly, wagering involving NHL games.”
Leonsis said that legalized sports betting “is in many ways the logical outgrowth of the fans’ obsession with data,” and that more stats and analytics were available than were “imaginable even a decade ago.”