Sports Gambling Issue Settled By Supreme Court

June 17, 2018 by Staff

The esteemed writer George Will may have summed it up best in an article for the National Review when he wrote "The U.S. is about to be more law abiding, now that the Supreme Court has ruled that the federal government can’t prohibit states from legalizing what Americans have been doing anyway."

That came in response to the United States Supreme Court ruling on May 14 which struck down a federal law forbidding states from authorizing such gambling. Known as the Bradley Act, the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act was passed by congress in 1993 and became law on January 1, 1993. In grandfathered in various sports betting legislation already approved in Nevada, Oregon, Delaware and Montana. Of those four states, Nevada had the most liberal allowances of what could be wagered on which was anything you can name.

Ironically, Bill Bradley, sponsor of the prohibitive bill, became a senator for the state of New Jersey after a distinguished NBA career with the New York Knicks. The case decided by the Supreme Court struck down the law after a years-long challenge by none other than the state of New Jersey.

Just last Thursday, June 14, legal sports betting became operational in the Garden State.

The first bets were placed by Governor Phil Murphy at Oceanport's Monmouth Park, some 80 miles north of Atlantic City, where he wagered $20 on Germany to win the World Cup in soccer and another $20 on the New Jersey Devils to win the 2019 NHL Stanley Cup.

Legal sports betting will undoubtedly spread across America as many states will attempt to capitalize on a new source of taxation. But don't hold your breath waiting for the nation to catch up to other countries. While waiting for legal sports betting to occur in their own state, enthusiasts will still need to turn to such websites as casino online Australia to find available options to quench their thirst.

Attitudes about sports betting are definitely changing, but the U.S. in still a nation that has few states where casinos are open to regular businesses to operate. Several states have accepted casinos on a limited basis, such as Florida where the Seminole Indians have an exclusive pact that allows them to operate the only land-based casino table games.

Attitudes from professional sports leagues and amateur organizations are slowly relenting on their opposition to sports betting. The NCAA, long a staunch opponent of sports betting issued a statement after the Supreme Court ruling that said, "to ensure integrity in sport, the NCAA supports a federal model addressing legalized gambling and has suspended its championship host policy related to sports wagering."

There is a real risk in exposing college athletes, who are not enumerated,  to sports betting as the temptation of accepting bribes is high. But college football is one of the most popular sports in the world and a lot of that popularity stems from the huge number of people who love to wager on the game.

One could argue that the legalization of sports betting could actually improve the lives of college athletes by driving even more interest and revenue toward the institutions, leading to more scholarships and more benefits.

This ruling doesn't directly affect everyone who likes to gamble. Millions of people prefer other methods ranging from slot machines to craps, from horses to bingo. And there are scores of people whose only exposure to gambling has come through the growing alternative source of online casinos.

But no matter how you cut the cards, this ruling will be watched, debated, and even litigated, for years to come.

Bet on it.