The sports world is on fire right now because the future of the industry is about to drastically change.
Usually, a massive reckoning like this comes from inside the respective league itself.
But in this case, it was the Supreme Court that changed the future of sports in America.
In an astounding 6-3 decision, the Supreme Court overturned the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, or PASPA, which limited sports betting to only one state in the United States—Nevada.
USA Today reports:
“The U.S. Supreme Court ruling in favor of New Jersey on Monday effectively killed the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), the federal law that essentially limited sports betting to one state for the last 25 years.
PASPA was declared unconstitutional in the 6-3 decision, meaning it will be up to states – including New Jersey, which has sought to establish sports gambling for years – to decide whether to allow its residents to bet on sports.
Here’s a breakdown of what the ruling by the nation’s highest court means:
What is PASPA?
PASPA was signed into law by President George H.W. Bush in 1992 and went into effect in January 1993. Nevada – the only state at the time the bill became law that had widespread state-sponsored sports bettors – and three other states with more limited betting (Oregon, Delaware and Montana) were grandfathered in.
PASPA didn’t outlaw sports betting because that was already illegal. Rather, PASPA banned states – outside those given exemptions – from regulating (and taxing) sports betting.
Despite PASPA’s existence, the American Gaming Association (AGA) estimates at least $150 billion a year is gambled on sports in the U.S. and 97% of that amount was bet illegally.
How soon could states offer sanctioned sports betting?
With PASPA stricken down, states now can establish their own regulated sports betting.
Many are expected to move quickly to establish sports betting as a means to increase their respective coffers.
West Virginia Lottery general counsel Danielle Boyd told Legal Sports Report that the state – which already passed a law to authorize sports betting – could have sports betting within 90 days of PASPA’s repeal.
“That’s the news every one of these states was waiting for,” sports and gambling law attorney Daniel Wallach told USA TODAY Sports. “Every one of these states’ legislative measures hinged on the finding of the Supreme Court that PASPA is unconstitutional. The ruling allows the states to legislate immediately and for all such laws to become effective immediately.”
West Virginia is among 17 states that has passed or have bills making their way through state legislatures to legalize sports betting upon PASPA’s repeal, according to the AGA. New Jersey and Mississippi are two other states Wallach said he sees moving the quickest to allow betting.”
Now that states have the sole authority to decide whether or not they’ll legalize sports betting, killing PASPA brings pros and cons.
Last year, an estimated $250 billion floated through illegal sports betting “bookies.” So when a state finally legalizes sports betting, those bookies will almost immediately be put out of business. Arguably, that’s a pro and a con. On one hand, it could eliminate bookies nearly overnight, but some argue that referees could receive death threats if they make a bad call.
Also, leagues like the NFL and NBA are currently trying to figure out how to capitalize on it monetarily too.
One asinine thing they’re trying to do is to take one percent off the top. But in order for that to happen, the leagues would need to lobby for a new federal law that allows them to take what they think is “fair.” And that’s just flat-out cronyism.
Another major con is that the NCAA would be vulnerable because student athletes, who don’t make money outside of their scholarships, could be susceptible to “throwing games” for money.
Local and state economies would have extra money-flow because of taxation, which would be a pro, but gambling addictions can ruin lives and families.
Each state needs to really evaluate the pros and cons before they have a knee-jerk reaction to capitalizing on the overturn of PASPA.
They should carefully weigh the monetary gain versus the constituents’ well-being.