U.S. Supreme Court Allows States to Legalize Sports Betting

by Lynne Levin Kaufman, Esquire

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – May 14, 2018  – By now, most of you have heard that the U.S. Supreme Court  today held that the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), the more than 25 year old federal law that prohibited full blown sports betting in all states but Nevada, is an unconstitutional restriction on state sovereignty. The elimination of PASPA means that states can pass laws establishing regulated sports betting. But what does that mean for the gaming industry and for those of us who are anxious to place a legal bet in our state?

It means that the states that have already acted to pass legislation, or have bills pending in the legislature, including New Jersey and Pennsylvania, are preparing to roll out sports betting as soon as possible. It means that an opportunity has been created for businesses that operated outside of the U.S. to now locate themselves in the U.S., creating employment and other business opportunities. It means that much less revenue will be lost to the $150 billion illegal sports betting industry. It means tax revenue will be gained by states that legalize sports betting. It means that people who couldn’t travel to Nevada for the Super Bowl or March Madness, as two examples, can enjoy an entertainment experience at the casino or racetrack in their regulated sports betting state. It means that sports betting will be required to be conducted with integrity, transparency, and supervision.

Yes, there is a lot to work out.  The average sports book realizes about a 5% profit, and integrity fees to the leagues, licensing fees, and technical requirements could deter industry growth. Then there are questions regarding internet wagering, server placement, and the Wire Act.  But on this day, let’s put those thoughts aside and celebrate a monumental victory for the gaming industry.  #SportsBetting