Sports gambling will soon be legal in, most likely, all states who want it, due to a Supreme Court decision on Monday, May 14.  By a 6-3 margin, the Court struck down the “Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act,” (PASPA) which made it illegal for states to authorize sports gambling (with only a few exceptions), leaving Nevada as the only state where it was legal to bet on the results of a game.  The case, Murphy v. National Collegiate Athletic Association, will open the door for betting in virtually all the states, since legislators anticipate that sports gambling could be a cash cow.  And, they’re right.

As ABC News reported, “stock prices for casino operators and equipment makers surged after the ruling was announced.”

The majority, in a ruling penned by Justice Samuel Alito, states that “The legalization of sports gambling requires an important policy choice, but the choice is not ours to make.  Congress can regulate sports gambling directly, but if it elects not to do so, each state is free to act on its own.  Our job is to interpret the law Congress has enacted and decide whether it is consistent with the Constitution.  PASPA is not.”  The Court further said the PASPA violated constitutional principles limiting the federal government from dictating state policy by unconstitutionally forcing states to prohibit sports betting under their own state laws.

Looking ahead, the professional sports leagues have already advocated for a 1% “sports integrity fee,” which sounds nice, but is just their strategy for getting a piece of the action on the money that will be change hands.  It’s a grab.

States will now be able to establish their own regulated sports betting, and many are expected to act quickly since there’s a lot of money to be made.  So, look to your legislature to see what kind of bills will be submitted, voted upon, then, depending on the state, signed into law by the governor.

Sports gambling – it’s ON.