Published: Mon, May 14, 2018
Worldwide | By Stella Potter

Supreme Court ruling opens the door for legalized sports betting nationwide

Supreme Court ruling opens the door for legalized sports betting nationwide

The United States Supreme Court ruled in favor of New Jersey on Monday, calling the federal ban on sports betting unconstitutional and opening up the potential for more states to legalize it. He and other proponents sought the ruling in order to help the state's ailing casinos and racetracks.

To date, only Nevada, Delaware, Oregon, and Montana are allowed sports gambling and are exempt from PASPA due to previously passed betting laws. It's expected that dozens of states could now apply for sports betting in the coming years. Justice Samuel Alito wrote for the court.

"The legalization of sports gambling requires an important policy choice, but the choice is not ours to make".

Raymond Lesniak, a former Democratic state senator who sponsored the bill, said states should be free to wrest sports gambling back from organized crime and offshore operations.

Penn National Gaming Inc shares were up 4.3 percent at $33.62 while Boyd Gaming Corp shares were up 3.3 percent at $36.13 and Scientific Games Corp shares were up 9 percent at $58.30. They said in court briefs that if the high court sided with the sporting leagues, "Congress could compel the entire machinery of state government - legislatures, executives and courts - to maintain and enforce repealed state laws at the behest of the federal government".

To ready itself for the ruling it hoped to receive, Monmouth Park has been working to complete an expanded gaming area on the first floor of the Grandstand, adjacent to the already existing William Hill Race and Sports Bar. "This ruling gives us the ability to further diversify our product offerings and build on our unique capacity to drive fan engagement", company CEO Jason Robins said.


Concerned that questions will be raised at some point that betting could affect teams' performance and the outcome of games, all four major US professional sports leagues, the NCAA and the federal government had urged the court to uphold the federal law. Although it would be legal to bet on professional and collegiate sports tournaments, most collegiate games that take place within the state or involve state schools would be prohibited. States can now decide on their own if they want to offer gambling within their borders.

Justice Stephen Breyer agreed that the provision directing states to maintain sports betting bans should be stricken, but he said the whole federal law should not have been declared unconstitutional. She suggested the law could be severed for a less broad ruling that would only impact the states and not private parties.

Murphy, a Democrat, says he's thrilled and credited the court victory to his predecessor, Christie.

The Supreme Court ruling also comes amid a years-long effort to erect resort casinos authorized under a 2011 state law.

Major League Baseball has issued a statement saying the Supreme Court ruling will have "profound effects" on the league.

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