The Supreme Court has reversed a 1992 federal law that banned gambling on commercial sports in a majority of states. The Supreme Court’s ruling opens the door to legalize the $150 billion markets in illegal wagers that are made on professional and amateur sports that Americans make every year.
What happens now
The decision will have a profound change on America’s relationship with sports betting. Offshore wagering and illicit bookies will no longer be the only option for betters, and many black markets could be forced out of business.
Lawmakers and sports officials who have long opposed sports betting are now endorsing the move and sponsoring betting on mobile devices. The state of New Jersey said that it will be ready for sports gambling by June 30th.
Senator Bill Bradley, Democrat of New Jersey and former basketball star argued that the law needed to stay in place to save the integrity of sports. New Jersey has attempted to legalize sports gambling in the past but has been shut down by the courts multiple times in the past.
Connecticut, Mississippi, New York, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia have all recently passed sports betting laws, and at least another dozen states introduced similar legislation. In the 1992 ruling, Nevada was granted an exemption.
Why the court ruled against the law
The court ruled the Professional, and Amateur Sports Protection Act was unconstitutional and violated state sovereignty. Gov. Philip D. Murphy’s spokesmen said that his office had proposed a bill weeks ago and negotiating behind the scenes.
“Federal officers were installed in state legislative chambers and were armed with the authority to stop legislators from voting on any offending proposals. A more direct affront to state sovereignty is not easy to imagine,” Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. said.
Law professors and sports law experts have long seen the 1992 ruling as a dry constitutional issue that violated states’ rights. The decision could change the way Americans view sports.
Every second of every game will be interesting to fans and give them something to root for. Fans will now have a reason to watch games that have little to no impact on the season.