×

Sports Betting Is the New Pot as Supreme Court Leaves Legality to States

Striking down a 1992 law that banned sports gambling, the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday paved the way for sports betting to become the next pot: Regulated by the states, with widely varying local laws, and a wide range of companies getting ready for the next gold rush.

The law at the center of Monday’s decision was the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) of 1992, which had outlawed sports betting nationwide, with the exception of Nevada and some more limited betting in three other states. New Jersey had sued against the law, arguing that it was unconstitutional.

Six of the nine Supreme Court Justices agreed, writing in their majority decision that there were good reasons both for and against sports betting:

“Supporters argue that legalization will produce revenue for the States and critically weaken illegal sports betting operations, which are often run by organized crime. Opponents contend that legalizing sports gambling will hook the young on gambling, encourage people of modest means to squander their savings and earnings, and corrupt professional and college sports. The legalization of sports gambling requires an important policy choice, but the choice is not ours to make.”

Instead, legislators would have to make a decision. And in the absence of new federal legislation, it would be up to the states to do so. “Our job is to interpret the law Congress has enacted and decide whether it is consistent with the Constitution,” the judges wrote. ”PASPA is not.”

With the law struck down, states are expected to move quickly to benefit from the added tax revenue. Eighteen states have already introduced legislation to legalize sports betting, according to the American Gaming Association. Others are likely to follow suit.

The result of these state-wide laws will likely be a patchwork of regulations, similar to the way states currently regulate medical and recreational marijuana. And just like with pot, many in the industry are hoping for big bucks. Estimates about the size of a legal sports gambling market vary widely, ranging from $57 billion to as much as $400 billion per year.

Immediate beneficiaries are likely to include online sports betting companies like Fanduel and Draftkings, with Draftkings CEO Jason Robins telling CNBC Monday that “this is going to be a huge industry.” But a legalization of sports gambling could also benefit countless others, from sports leagues to sports data providers to fantasy football giants like Yahoo.

That is if federal legislators don’t put a stop to sports gambling before it gets off the ground: Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) announced Monday that he would introduce new legislation “to help protect honesty and principle in the athletic arena” in the coming weeks. Hatch had been one of the four authors of the very law that the U.S. Supreme Court struck down on Monday.

More Politics

  • Twitter Jack Dorsey

    Trump Meets With Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey After Complaining of Bias

    WASHINGTON — Less than 12 hours after complaining that Twitter doesn’t “treat me well as a Republican,” President Trump met with the company’s CEO, Jack Dorsey, and indicated that they would be “keeping an open dialogue.” “Great meeting this afternoon at the @WhiteHouse with @Jack from @Twitter. Lots of subjects discussed regarding their platform, and [...]

  • President Donald Trump listens to a

    White House Orders Administration Officials to Skip Correspondents' Dinner

    WASHINGTON — The White House is ordering administration officials to skip this year’s White House Correspondents’ Association dinner amid ongoing attacks by President Trump toward the news media, CNN and other news outlets reported on Tuesday. Trump already announced that he would not attend the dinner and would instead hold a rally that evening, as [...]

  • President Trump to Make State Visit

    President Trump to Make State Visit to the U.K. in June

    Buckingham Palace has confirmed U.S. President Donald Trump will make an official state visit to the U.K. this summer. British Prime Minister Theresa May promised a state visit, with its accompanying pomp and pageantry, when meeting the President shortly after he took office in 2016. The British Royal family’s official Twitter account confirmed it was [...]

  • Seth Moulton Launches Presidential Bid

    Rep. Seth Moulton Launches 2020 Presidential Bid

    WASHINGTON — Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.), an Iraq veteran who has diverged from Democratic leadership in the House in recent years, announced Monday that he is running for president, saying that “decades of division and corruption have broken our democracy.” Moulton confirmed that he was running in an appearance on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” He [...]

  • Mueller Report Book Editions Top Amazon's

    Mueller Report Book Editions Shoot to Top of Best-Seller Lists at Amazon, Barnes & Noble

    Robert Mueller is now a best-selling author. Book publishers’ forthcoming editions of the special counsel’s report zoomed to the top of the Amazon’s and Barnes & Noble’s lists of book best-sellers Friday. That comes a day after the report was publicly released, culminating the nearly two-year investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election [...]

  • Pete Buttigieg Show Business Donations

    Mayor Pete Buttigieg Is Totally Up for Booking Phish for His Inauguration

    Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s campaign seems to be going Phish-ing… in the best possible sense. (Unless you just hate the band Phish so much there is no best possible sense.) The Democratic presidential candidate has previously indicated his love for the group, and when a reporter suggested Phish play at his theoretical swearing-in festivities in 2021, [...]

  • National Enquirer - Jeff Bezos

    Hudson Media CEO James Cohen Purchases the National Enquirer

    Hudson Media’s CEO James Cohen announced Thursday that he will purchase the National Enquirer as well as American Media’s other tabloids, the Globe and the National Examiner. With the purchase of the National Enquirer, which Cohen reportedly bought for $100 million, he plans to strengthen their collaborative efforts, documentary shows, weekly podcasts, and theme parks. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content