The state of New Jersey was handed a win by the U.S. Supreme Court after a ruling which now allows states to legalize sports betting both for professional and college sports. In the ruling a law which was passed by Congress in 1992 outlawing sports gambling in most places was declared unconstitutional. Six justices were in favor while three justices dissented. After the ruling was delivered shares of casinos and gaming companies soared.
Additionally the ruling resulted in the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act being voided while the legality of a state law passed in 2014 allowing sports betting at horse racetracks and casinos in New Jersey.
“New Jersey has long been the lead advocate in fighting this inherently unequal law, and today’s ruling will finally allow for authorized facilities in New Jersey to take the same bets that are legal in other states in our country,” said the governor of New Jersey, Phil Murphy, in a statement.
For some states sports betting is just like lotteries in that it is potentially a lucrative source of revenue. According to American Gaming Association the market for illegal sports betting is estimated to be worth approximately $150 billion per year.
The ruling will now allow sports betting becoming legal in numerous states and not just in a few places that include the state of Nevada which is home to Las Vegas. In the federal law which was passed in 1992 sports gambling had been prohibited in virtually states with the exception of Nevada. To a certain extent it was allow in Oregon, Montana and Delaware.
In making the ruling the U.S. Supreme Court declared that it was in agreement with New Jersey with regards to the argument by the state that the federal contravened the U.S. Constitution since it was an infringement on state sovereignty.
According to legal experts players’ unions and sports leagues as well as the states will demand a cut from the revenues that will be generated by the legalization of sports gambling. Per a report by Fitch Ratings the states of West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York, Mississippi and Connecticut already have laws in place pertaining to sports betting and they are thus in a position to move quickly to take advantage of the Supreme Court ruling.
The ruling by the Supreme Court may however prompt Congress to work on legislation aimed at regulating sports betting across the country to protect the integrity of sports.