In a revolutionary decision this past May, the Supreme Court ruled that each individual state could allow sports betting at its discretion.
In a revolutionary decision this past May, the Supreme Court ruled that each individual state could allow sports betting at its discretion. This decision reverses the 1992 federal Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA) prohibiting states from authorizing sports betting.
Excitement ran high with the big news and states like New Jersey immediately announced sports betting would be available within a few weeks at racetracks and other venues.
There is also a lot of scuttlebutt around the possibility of real-time betting in baseball stadiums during games based on upcoming pitches.
Ted Leonsis, Owner of the Washington Wizards and Capitals, commented that “this is a new frontier for professional sports, and teams who don’t seize on this opportunity will be left behind.”
State Plans for Sports Betting
New Jersey has wanted to allow sports betting for some time. Back in 2012, Governor Chris Christie approved legislature permitting Nevada-style sports gambling within the state. However, the NCAA, NBA, NHL, MLB, and NFL quickly thwarted New Jersey with a lawsuit. The trial finally landed in front of the Supreme Court this May, and as a direct result of the review, PASPA was ruled unconstitutional.
In anticipation of the ruling, many states passed legislation early in the year, contingent upon the ban. States like Nevada, Delaware, Mississippi, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and West Virginia are excited and already making quick plans to implement sports betting by the end of June.
Some state legislation stipulates sports betting will only be allowed in licensed casinos and racetracks while other states will open it up to various venues sparking countless opportunities for growth with this money-making machine.
Other states are moving ahead more cautiously and instead of throwing the door open on legalized sports betting they are slowly considering all options and have proposed legislation, but nothing has been approved or settled yet. States that are undecided include California, Kansas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Illinois, Michigan, Iowa, Indiana, Missouri, Kentucky, South Carolina, New York, Maryland, Connecticut and Rhode Island.
The other remaining states in the U.S. have not yet proposed any change in their gambling laws, and it is unclear whether this ruling will affect them or not.
Nevada’s Monopoly on Sports Betting
For years, Nevada has enjoyed holding a monopoly on sports betting rights and now that exclusivity is threatened with the Supreme Court’s decision.
However, according to Nevada sources, bookmakers welcome the news and say that sports betting is “good for everyone in the industry.” Las Vegas offers so much more than just sports betting that state officials are not worried about any drop in tourism based on this new law.
The NCAA is less thrilled about the news worrying about having to deal with new state regulations that will inevitably vary. Another concern is abuse and scandal, and the NCAA wants to protect the integrity of sports as a whole. This issue is paramount in college sports where players are unpaid and play for the love of the game. They don’t want that purity tainted or reputations tarnished.
Millions of people bet on sports online and in person illegally every year so this change will serve to legitimize something that is already a $150 billion industry.
Although there is considerable potential for abuse and harm that comes along with this new ruling, it may also solve the problems that currently exist in illegal gambling outfits such as rampant cheating, and point-shaving scandals. Sports gambling is big business, and now states can take advantage of a powerful new revenue stream which was unavailable to them before.