Federal Ban on Sports Betting Found Unconstitutional
By J. Phillip Vogel
Fans of sports betting have a massive reason to celebrate.
In the recent and historic Supreme Court decision on Murphy v. National Collegiate Athletic Association, they found that the federal ban on sports betting, as established by the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA), is unconstitutional. This has officially paved the way for the legalization of sports betting across all 50 states.
“Today’s decision is a victory for the millions of Americans who seek to bet on
sports in a safe and regulated manner,” said American Gaming Association (AGA) President
and CEO Geoff Freeman. “According to a Washington Post survey, a solid 55 percent of Americans believe it’s time to end the federal ban on sports betting. Today’s ruling makes it possible for states and sovereign tribal nations to give Americans what they want: an open, transparent, and responsible market for sports betting.”
He continued. “Through smart, efficient regulation this new market will protect consumers, preserve the integrity of the games we love, empower law enforcement to fight illegal gambling, and generate new revenue for states, sporting bodies, broadcasters and many others. The AGA stands ready to work with all stakeholders – states, tribes, sports leagues, and law enforcement – to create a new regulatory environment that capitalizes on this opportunity to engage fans and boost local economies.”
Already, plans are underway in various states to take advantage of the potential windfall this decision heralds.
“We have been eagerly anticipating and preparing for this decision with both Rush Street Interactive and our land-based properties – Rivers Casinos in Pittsburgh, Schenectady, NY, and Des Plaines (Chicago area), along with SugarHouse Casino in Philadelphia,” said Greg Carlin, CEO of Rush Street Gaming. “It’s exciting news for the consumer, the industry and the states. In addition to providing sports enthusiasts with a better, safer environment, [this] Supreme Court decision will redirect revenue previously lost to the black market and instead generate much needed tax revenue at state and local levels. We look forward to adding sports betting across all our gaming platforms as soon as possible.”
Sentiments were similar across the country, but while this does open the door for sports betting, it is still up to the individual states to determine what, if any sports betting activities will be allowed.
In New York, for example, it is up to legislators to define what sports betting will be allowed as well as write legislation regulating this new form of wagering. New York State Senator John Bonacic is planning on introducing a bill to the full Senate and anticipates it having enacted into law by as early as June 20th.
“This is not just a positive for Tioga Downs, but for the entire country,” commented Tioga Downs owner Jeff Gural. “Sports betting has long been a black-market activity that many engage in, however now that there is the option for legalized wagering, many States can bring jobs and tax revenue that weren’t previously possible. Many customers come to Tioga Downs to watch sporting events however once sports wagering is available on property, they will be able to do prop and in-game betting just like you see in Las Vegas.”
While there’s still work to do, and getting the infrastructure will undoubtedly take some time, one thing is clear: Get ready for a new era in sports betting.