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Chattanoogans weigh in on pros and cons of sports betting

The Supreme Court ruled to strike down a previous law, making sports betting legal. (Image: MGN)

It could soon be legal for you to bet on your favorite sports teams.

The Supreme Court ruled, Monday, to strike down a law that made sports betting illegal.

Now, states will be able to decide if they want to allow that type of gambling.

Cody Dowler is a die-hard sports fan and has been betting illegally for years.

"There's probably about 10 websites or so where you could easily throw down a credit card, debit card, deposit cash online and bet on games tonight if you wanted to," he said.

Dowler says he does it occasionally to make watching a game more interesting.

"It will certainly make you pay much more attention to it and get a bigger kick out of it if you flip a coin and get the right team," Dowler said.

NFL leaders aren't fans of gambling, saying it compromises the integrity of the sport.

Counselor Steve Thayer says some people have an ethical problem with sports betting and others worry it could become an addiction.

"Will it raise the percentages of people who have that problem? Probably, just like if they'd legalized a variety of other things that might be seen as being a problem," Thayer explained.

Thayer says he's seen quite a few gambling addicts.

They suffer from the same issues as alcoholics, or drug addicts

"They're willing for a moment's pleasure for a moment's stimulation to take on the risk," Thayer said.

Dowler says he's excited that sports betting could soon be legal here at home.

He understands the risks but thinks it's a great way to enjoy some of America's favorite pastimes.

"If people can control themselves and do it moderation and do it the way I do, it's a blast watching sports that much more fun," Dowler said.

The law that made sports betting illegal passed in 1992. It made it illegal in every state except Nevada.

It was the only state where a person could wager on a single game.

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