Friday, 21 September, 2018

Supreme Court strikes down sports betting ban

Major league executives are taking meetings with bookies Modal Trigger Getty Images iStock
Leonard Rios | 14 May, 2018, 20:45

The American Gaming Association calls the Supreme Court's decision to strike down a federal law barring gambling in most states "a victory for the millions of Americans who seek to bet on sports in a safe and regulated manner". The move likely opens the gates for more of states around the country to get into the sports betting business including Florida.

"Our job is to interpret the law Congress has enacted and decide whether it is consistent with the Constitution", the court said in its decision. "PASPA is not", Justice Samuel Alito wrote for the court.

Now only Nevada offers legalized betting on sports, but New Jersey officials insisted the federal government could not force them to enforce a congressional ban on wagering on professional and college sports.

Immediately after the ruling, the stock price for Caesars Entertainment rose 6%, and DraftKings said it will enter the sports betting market. The proposed amendment specifically refers to PASPA's federal sports betting ban being amended or repealed.

The Supreme Court ruled on Monday that the federal ban on sports betting was unconstitutional. "In light of these developments, we do not think that Congress would want the advertising provisions to stand if the remainder of PASPA must fall".

The Boston-based company said Monday it had been preparing to launch a sports betting platform and apply for state operating licenses ever since the high court announced it would take up the case.

It remains to be seen what effect a ruling allowing sports gambling will have on the values of sports franchises.

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Sports books previously had only been allowed in Nevada, Oregon, Delaware and Montana, according to SB Nation.

Monmouth Park racetrack has already established a sports betting facility and said it plans to take bets "as soon as possible".

"New Jersey has always been the lead advocate in fighting this inherently unequal law, and today's ruling will finally allow for authorized facilities in New Jersey to take the same bets that are legal in other states in our country", New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, a Democrat, said in a statement.

"The question now is whether Congress will leave the states to make their own choices or will now try to enact some kind of federal regulation of sports betting", Vladeck added.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf's spokesman says the new revenue from sports betting will be good for the state's budget, which has struggled through persistent deficits since the recession. National Basketball Association commissioner Adam Silver has endorsed sports betting, and Major League Baseball has invested in fantasy leagues. In 2012, with voters' support, New Jersey lawmakers passed a law allowing sports betting, directly challenging the 1992 federal law. The Supreme Court declined to hear the case.

West Virginia and 17 other states, and the governors of three more, sided with New Jersey in the case.

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