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Supreme Court Ruling Means We’ll See More States Offering Sports Betting Soon

Monday just might go down as the biggest day in sports betting history following a key decision by the Supreme Court of the United States. 

The Supreme Court ruled to grant states the power to decide whether they wish to legalize and regulate sports betting, giving New Jersey a victory over the four major pro sports leagues and the NCAA. 

The ruling strikes down the previous law from 1992 known as PASPA, which had prevented states from offering sports betting until now. New Jersey won the decision 6-3, with justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor providing dissent. 

The Garden State had been fighting the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act since 2012, when the state legislature first enacted a bill to allow sports wagering there. The state lost six times at the lower-court level before finally winning in the highest court. 

“The legalization of sports gambling requires an important policy choice, but the choice is not ours (the court’s) to make,” Justice Samuel Alito wrote in the decision for the court. “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.”

It’s called anti-commandeering and in terms of PASPA being unconstitutional, it violates the Tenth Amendment. The Tenth Amendment says that any power not given to the federal government leaves it up to the states to govern. 

And now that states can govern sports betting, everyone wants to know who’s going to offer it first. 

Which states will offer sports betting first? 

Make New Jersey the massive favorite there. We could see a sportsbook at Monmouth Park taking bets even before the NBA Finals. The track has spent $2 million to build and expand the William Hill Sports Bar, which will soon be a sportsbook. They’ve also brought in wagering machines to facilitate bets, which are already on site. 

(I answer more questions on the SCOTUS sports betting decision with The Score here.)

For the time being, the Oceanport track has set up its own independent regulatory board to oversee wagering. We’ll soon see state legislation, though, and there’s also already been a bill introduced.  

“I look forward to working with the legislature to enact a law authorizing and regulating sports betting in the very near future,” New Jersey Gov. Phi Murphy said in a statement Monday. 

About a dozen other states have introduced or reoffered sports betting legislation in 2018. Delaware, Mississippi, Pennsylvania and West Virginia are the furthest ahead among those and will likely be the ones next in line to offer betting after New Jersey – probably in the next 60 to 90 days.  

From there, a number of states are expected to follow that include California, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New York Oklahoma, Rhode Island and South Carolina.

In all, Eilers & Krejcik Gaming estimates that 32 states will offer sports betting within five years. 

Follow me on Twitter @JonnyOddsShark

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