Sports Gambling, Supreme Court
Jan. 30, 2018; Washington, DC, USA; From left, Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court John Roberts, Associate Justice Stephen Breyer, Associate Justice Elena Kagan and Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch listen as President Donald Trump delivers the State of the Union address from the House chamber of the United States Capitol. Mandatory Credit: Jack Gruber-USA TODAY

Supreme Court Votes To Strike Down Anti-Gambling Law

Sports gambling is now legal nationwide following a landmark Supreme Court decision. The Court’s justices voted 7-2 in favor of Chris Christie and the state of New Jersey to make sports gambling legal nationwide.

The Court announced its decision Monday morning. Each state will now have the right to legalize betting.

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States Have Opportunity

Christie has pushed for this legislation since 2012. New Jersey plans to be the first state to take advantage of its new opportunity, but it won’t be the only one.

The decision overruled the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PAPSA), which had been in effect since 1992. This law barred states from authorizing sports gambling (with a select few exceptions).

“Congress can regulate sports gambling directly, but if it elects not to do so, each State is free to act on its own,” the Supreme Court wrote. “Our job is to interpret the law Congress has enacted and decide whether it is consistent with the Constitution. PAPSA is not.”

The legal battle between New Jersey and the NCAA and big four sports leagues (NBA, NFL, MLB, and NHL) had lasted six years.

Nearly $5 billion was wagered at Nevada sports books in 2017. The economic impact of this legislation will be massive.

Commissioner Adam Silver and the NBA have campaigned for this legalization for nearly four years. But other leagues — most notably the NFL — have remained vocally opposed to it.

Sports gambling is already legal in a number of other countries, such as Canada and the United Kingdom.

About Aaron Mansfield

Aaron Mansfield is a freelance sports writer. His work has appeared in Complex, USA Today and the New York Times. Mansfield is a PhD candidate at UMass Amherst.

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