Sport Management Symposium to examine the legalization of sports betting

The April 23 event is headlined by a keynote address from former NBA Commissioner David Stern, followed by two panel discussions addressing the business impact and regulation of legalized sports betting. Tickets are on sale through April 17; Elon students, faculty and staff can attend at no cost, but must register in advance.

Following New Jersey’s Supreme Court victory in 2018, any state that wishes can legalize sports betting. This has led state lawmakers across the country, including those in North Carolina, to consider sports betting legislation. Some states have already launched sports betting. But what does this mean for the sport industry both in the Tar Heel State and elsewhere?

Former NBA Commissioner David Stern will serve as the keynote speaker for the Elon Sport Management Symposium – Sports Betting: The Industry’s Next Frontier. The on-campus event is slated for Tuesday, April 23, in the School of Communications’ Turner Theatre. Tickets are now on sale.
​The Elon Sport Management Symposium – Sports Betting: The Industry’s Next Frontier will examine topics relating to the legalization and regulation of sports betting and its potential business impact. The Tuesday, April 23, event will be held in the School of Communications’ Turner Theatre, beginning at 4:15 p.m.

The afternoon’s program will kick off with a keynote address from former NBA Commissioner David Stern, who led the league to record financial growth during his three decades in charge –  the longest tenure of any NBA commissioner. A Q&A session with Stern will follow his address.

Even prior to the Supreme Court’s decision to lift a federal ban on sports betting, the NBA had publicly endorsed legalization and regulation of sports betting in order to bring it out of the shadows. Shortly after the verdict, current NBA Commissioner Adam Silver released a statement acknowledging that the league was “in favor of a federal framework that would provide a uniform approach to sports gambling in states that choose to permit it …”

​In connection with Commissioner Silver’s statement, one of the issues the symposium and panelists will address is whether there should be some federal regulatory involvement, or whether regulation should be left entirely to the states. Panelists will also discuss the business opportunities and challenges for the sports industry that legalized betting will create.

The symposium will host an hourlong panel (5-6 p.m.) titled “The Business Impact of Sports Betting on the Industry.” It will feature Brian Herbst of NASCAR, Peter Scott of Turner Sports, Stephen Master of SimpleBet and Elon alumna Monica Fee ’04 of CAA.

A second panel discussion (6:15-7:15 p.m.), titled “Legalizing and Regulating Sports Betting,” will follow featuring Democratic Rep. Carla Cunningham of Mecklenburg County, Republican Rep. Jon Hardister of Guilford County, Sara Slane of the American Gaming Association and Andy Levinson of the PGA Tour.

According to Bill Squadron, visiting professor in Elon’s Sport Management Department, the impact of legalized sports betting could reach far beyond the playing field. States willing to embrace sports betting could tap into a new revenue source by generating tax income that can support other public needs.

Likewise, regulated sports betting could also increase engagement among fans.

“It’s going to be, over time, a hugely impactful new revenue source throughout the sports industry,” Squadron said. “But there are numerous legal, regulatory and business issues to work through over the next several years as we move toward a robust, broad sports betting market.”


For non-students, tickets are $50 and include a post-event dinner. Non-Elon students cost $20 each. (The post-event dinner is not included.) The event is free to Elon students, faculty and staff, but they are required to use their email address at registration. Tickets may be purchased or reserved on the Sport Management Symposium’s EventBrite page.

​The symposium will be held in Turner Theatre, located in Dwight C. Schar Hall on the campus of Elon University.

For more information, contact the Sport Management Society at or call 336-278-5890.

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