U.S. Supreme Court votes to end ban on state-sanctioned sports betting
In a historic decision Monday morning, the U.S. Supreme Court voted 7-2 in favor of overturning the federal ban on state-sanctioned sports betting, paving the way for legalized wagering across the country.
The official decision contends, "Congress can regulate sports gambling directly, but if it elects not to do so, each State is free to act on its own."
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The case was contested in New Jersey, which is now eligible to make the change immediately under the ruling. According to gaming and sports attorney Daniel Wallach, it's expected Monmouth Park Racetrack will be one of the first to offer sports betting in as little as two weeks' time.
The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act came into law in 1992, and while it didn't officially ban sports betting nationwide, it ruled states were not allowed to regulate and tax sports betting.
Nevada was the lone exception to the rule, creating a sports betting haven in the desert, most notably in Las Vegas.
According to Pete Williams of NBC Sports, the American Gaming Association estimates the men's NCAA basketball tournament alone brings in $10 billion per year, with only three percent wagered legally in Nevada.
New Jersey may be the state to benefit immediately from the decision, but it certainly won't be the only one. Mississippi, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia recently passed laws that would allow sports wagering contingent upon Monday's decision.
Wallach also reports 15 other states, including New York, have introduced legislation that would regulate sports betting related to the Supreme Court's ruling. With the ruling now complete, many expect those states to move forward with legislation to allow betting later this summer.
The move to legalize sports betting has picked up a great deal of traction in recent months, with MLB, the NBA, and the PGA Tour leading efforts to ensure safeguards are in place to protect the integrity of their sports. The NBA and MLB are also seeking to be paid a percentage of all legal wagering on their events. NBA vice president Dan Spillane in January told the New York state legislature leagues want a 1 percent cut for "integrity" services, ESPN's Brian Windhorst reports.
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