The Supreme Court has given states the ability to legalize sports betting as it struck down the federal law that has prohibited sports gambling. Until now, Nevada was the only state in which wagering on the result of a game was legal due to the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, which was passed in 1992. New Jersey is already planning to allow sports gambling soon and a few more states including New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Delaware seem to be getting ready to do so as well.
As far as regulations go, the court said, “Congress can regulate sports gambling directly, but if it elects not to do so, each State is free to act on its own,”
To get an idea of just how big this decision is, A record $4.8 billion was wagered at Nevada sportsbooks in 2017. Some of the aforementioned states lining up to get in on the action have a larger population and are expecting even more money to be wagered.
Even the leagues have changed their mind over the court of the last few years. While sports betting seemed to always be a taboo topic, commissioners of the major leagues often dismissed it as they hinted that it may ruin the integrity of the games and its outcomes.
The U.S. joins Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and France as countries that allow sports gambling. While gambling will most likely have to start off being done at physical locations, states will most likely look at ways of allowing for a more accessible and mobil way of doing it. And one research firm estimates that 32 states would offer sports betting within 5 years.
Regardless of which side you are on, this is no doubt, a huge decision that will have big impacts one way or another. And it will be interesting to see how states and leagues adjust to the new ruling and how they will try to do what is best for them.