USA high court paves way for states to legalize sports betting

Supreme Court strikes down federal anti-sports gambling law

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday struck down a law that had forbidden gambling on college and professional sports outside Nevada.

"Our mission has always been to bring fans closer to the sports they love and now, thanks to the wisdom of the Supreme Court, DraftKings will be able to harness our proven technology to provide our customers with innovative online sports betting products", Jason Robins, CEO and co-founder of DraftKings, said in a statement.

The ruling, by a 7-to-2 margin, is a loss for the National Collegiate Athletic Association and professional leagues, which had sought to block a challenge to the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act. It made Nevada the only state where a person could wager on the results of a single game.

NY - A 2013 referendum approved sports betting in the state's commercial casinos if it was ever legalized at the federal level. Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonya Sotomayor dissented.

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.

Countrywide, Americans spend an estimated $150 billion on illegal sports betting each year.

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All four major USA professional sports leagues, the NCAA and the federal government had urged the court to uphold the federal law.

The controversy started in 2011, when New Jersey voters approved a measure to legalize sports betting to help the casino industries in a faltering economy. Monmouth Park has already set up a sports book operation and has previously estimated it could take bets within two weeks of a favorable Supreme Court ruling.

"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. If overturned, states would be looking at a whole new market to explore and generate profit in. The case is Murphy v. NCAA.

October 9, 2014: State legislature re-introduces Sports Wagering Act of 2014, which only partially repeals state prohibitions of 2012 law and only in certain circumstances. If this does happen, it will undoubtedly open up the floodgates for legalized sports betting, and NJ lawmakers want to be prepared.

November 8, 2011: New Jersey residents vote overwhelmingly, by a almost 2-to-1 margin (63.9 percent-to-36.1 percent), to change the state Constitution to allow the legislature to repeal prohibitions against sports gambling. The leagues again sued and won.

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