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Supreme Court Ruling Favors Sports Betting
14 May 2018, 06:08 | Glen Norman
Supreme Court Ruling Favors Sports Betting
The NCAA, NFL and National Basketball Association had backed the federal prohibition.
The court said the federal law violated constitutional principles limiting the federal government from controlling state policy, unconstitutionally forcing states to prohibit sports betting under their own laws. Other states were given a year to opt in, but none acted in time.
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The betting law, called the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992, prohibited states from authorizing sports gambling.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was asked about the effects of a possible ruling in favor of New Jersey back in March, but the Wall Street Journal wrote that he "declined to discuss specifically what the league would do if sports betting is legalized". Nevada was exempted from the law, and three other states - Montana, Delaware, and OR - that had already enacted sports lotteries were allowed to continue to do so. It argued taking its laws off the books was different from authorizing sports gambling. AGA conservatively estimates $150 billion is wagered by Americans on sports each year, and only $4.5 billion of that wagered legally in Nevada. Sports leagues challenged the law citing the 1992 law, and they won in federal court.
New Jersey has lost several rulings along the way, and the case previously had not been heard by the Supreme Court in 2014. Chris Christie to take the case to the Supreme Court. The case is Murphy v. NCAA.
New Jersey is naturally the state most prepared to implement sports betting in the wake of the decision. The four major professional sports leagues and the NCAA sued, and the state lost in court.
The aforementioned states that also have some sort of established legislative pathway to a regulated sports betting market are certain to pick up the pace in light of the decision. The NY State Gaming Commission will oversee all sports-betting activity as per that legislation, and the state is still considering bills that would expand sports betting to tracks and off-track betting parlors.
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