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Supreme Court Ruling Lets States Legalize Gambling

Supreme Court Ruling Lets States Legalize Gambling
On Monday, the Supreme Court ruled that states can legalize sports betting after the 1992 federal law known as the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) was deemed unconstitutional.

PASPA outlawed sports gambling outside of Nevada, but now the court’s 6-3 decision means that New Jersey, along with other states, will also be allowed to offer sports betting. 

“The legalization of sports gambling requires an important policy choice, but the choice is not ours to make,” wrote Justice Samuel Alito.”Congress can regulate sports gambling directly, but if it elects not to do so, each state is free to act on its own.”

New Jersey, a state known for its gambling hub in Atlantic City, has been fighting the PASPA, claiming it diminished the profits that could be made from its casinos and racetracks.

“A great day for the rights of states and their people to make their own decisions. New Jersey citizens wanted sports gambling and the federal Gov’t had no right to tell them no. The Supreme Court agrees with us today. I am proud to have fought for the rights of the people of NJ,” tweeted former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

“Today’s decision clears the way for all states to make their own decisions about legalizing sports betting, and in one fell swoop gets rid of Nevada’s monopoly on the subject and the 1992 federal statute that had protected it,” said Steve Vladeck, professor of law at the University of Texas School of Law.

It’s not surprising that the gambling industry is rejoicing over the ruling. Many of which are claiming it will decrease the illegal gambling.

“Today’s Supreme Court ruling is welcome news to the millions of Americans who currently wager $150 billion illegally each year through offshore, black-market bookies,” said Jason Robins, CEO of DraftKings. “States are now free to allow their residents to place mobile sports bets with licensed, trusted companies based in the U.S. and that pay taxes here.”

“Through smart, efficient regulation, this new market will protect consumers, preserve the integrity of the games we love, empower law enforcement to fight illegal gambling, and generate new revenue for states, sporting bodies, broadcasters and many others,” said Geoff Freeman, president of the American Gaming Association.

Since 2011, New Jersey has been trying to legalize sports betting. However, the NCAA, NFL, NBA, and other major sports organizations have been challenging sport gambling measures. 

“We intend to call on Congress again, this time to enact a core regulatory framework for legalized sports betting,” said the NFL in a statement. “We also will work closely with our clubs to ensure that any state efforts that move forward in the meantime protect our fans and the integrity of our game.”

Major League Baseball expressed similar sentiments. 

“Our most important priority is protecting the integrity of our games,” said the MLB in a statement. “We will continue to support legislation that creates air-tight coordination and partnerships between the state, the casino operators and the governing bodies in sports toward that goal.”

Not all Sport team owners are opposed to the legalize sports gambling though, some see the potential in the industry. 

“It 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,” wrote Ted Leonsis, who owns the NBA’s Washington Wizards, the WNBA’s Washington Mystics and the National Hockey League’s Washington Capitals. “I think that the increased transparency that will accompany more legalized betting around the country will only further protect against potential corruption.”

Proponents of the sports gambling argue that it ultimately improves fan engagement. 

Nonetheless, it’s safe to say that the ruling will have a significant impact. 

“Nearly 20 states have introduced bills that could legalize sports betting, and a 2017 report from Eilers & Krejcik Gaming estimated that as many as 32 states could offer legal sports betting within the next five years. Many state legislatures have been working on bills in anticipation of the Supreme Court’s ruling, and many were waiting to see whether the court would strike down PASPA entirely. Some places have already concluded their 2018 legislative sessions, which means those state lawmakers can’t address the matter until next year,” writes The Washington Post.

Author’s note: The Gambling industry is one of the few that I believe needs more regulation. Gambling addiction and problem gambling are also very much an issue. This will just make it easier to gamble, so we need to decide if gambling is a good or bad thing and then stick with it. Although the government can make money from it, is this really a good thing? It also isn’t fair that the government or certain Indian tribes have found loopholes with casinos and gambling and are making money hand over fist while others can’t.

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