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How Important a Role Law
Plays In Sports

While people may not immediately think of the law as being a major factor in the world of sports, in fact there is a whole range legal issues connected with sport both at an amateur and professional level that come under the specific title of Sports Law. This covers a wide variety of different areas, including privacy and image rights, endorsement deals, insurance and disputes with agents, but it is only in recent decades as sport has become bigger business that sports law has been regarded as a distinct area of the law.

There are plenty of examples of the role that law plays in the world of professional sports, such as the moves within American sports to allow athletes to form players unions or associations. The acceptance of this in 1967 by the National Labor Relations Board, put them in a stronger position when it comes to negotiating matters like working and training conditions and hours with their clubs. In European sport, an example of it would be the legal move, started by Belgian football player Jean-Marc Bosman, to allow players to change clubs without a transfer fee at the end of their agreed contract. This led to the Bosman ruling being passed by the European Court of Justice, and changed football permanently.

Then there is the matter of the law governing gaming on sports betting and sites like GamingClub.com/au, with the UK being notably more liberal on the matter than the US, and the latter has been particularly restrictive when it comes to online betting. At the moment it is only legal to bet on the sports themed games at online casino sites in three US States New Jersey, Delaware and Nevada whereas the 2005 Gambling Act makes this legal for everyone in the UK. Given the enormous popularity of gambling on sports in the US, most expect the laws to be changed to enable more widespread legal gambling there before too long though.