Las Vegas Sun

September 17, 2019

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The NHL is coming to Las Vegas because America is now a casino nation

NHL Announces Las Vegas Team

Steve Marcus

New franchise owner Bill Foley, left, and Gary Bettman, NHL commissioner, pose after announcing Las Vegas’ first professional sports franchise during a news conference at the Encore Wednesday, June 22, 2016. The NHL expansion team is expected to begin play in the 2017-18 season at T-Mobile Arena.

Today, Attorney General Loretta Lynch would have to concede that the basic public policy of the United States is pro-gambling. All but six states run lotteries, taking in nearly $74 billion last year. Every National Football League team plays in a stadium in which gambling is as close as the nearest convenience store.

Still, the announcement that the National Hockey League had awarded an expansion franchise to a group based in Las Vegas was, to some, a shock. This was the first big league to base a team in Las Vegas, a city that, thanks to its gambling and sports betting associations, was for many years taboo.

But it’s no longer so easy to insulate sports from gambling by keeping it away from the Strip.

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