It has finally happened, on May 14, 2018 the Supreme Court has come to the party and legalized sports betting and a federal law, which has been in place since 1992, has been ousted to pave the way for most states to legalize sports betting.
The court officially declared, “Congress can regulate sports gambling directly, but if it elects not to do so, each state is free to act on its own.”
While sports betting had already been legalized in four states including Nevada, Delaware, Montana, and Oregon, The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, which passed in 1992, made sports betting illegal in every other state.
The Supreme Court also handed down a decision in another important case today; one which pertains to personal rights and states that police are no longer able to search a rental car pulled over for a traffic infraction without a search warrant, even if the driver’s name does not appear on the rental agreement.
States Which Will Legalize?
The Supreme Court stating that the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) is unconstitutional has changed the future of sports betting in the US forever. According to Justice Samuel Alito, the law responsible for all the fuss "unequivocally dictates what a state legislature may do and not do," which put state legislatures "under the direct control of Congress.”
The option to legalize sports betting is now on the table for all states, except Utah, which have a blanket-wide gambling ban baked into the state’s constitution.
States which have declared they are on board with enacting sports betting legislation so far include New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Connecticut, Iowa, Mississippi, New York, and West Virginia. Another dozen states have also made public announcements that they plan to implement sports betting soon, but at their own pace.
Most experts agree and fully expect most states to legalize sports betting over the next couple of years, which will create a new stream of tax revenue that is sorely needed.