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Supreme Court makes sports betting a possibility nationwide


WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Monday gave its go-ahead for states to allow gambling on sports across the nation, striking down a federal law that barred betting on football, basketball, baseball and other sports in most states.


The justices voted 6-3 to strike down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, a 1992 law that forbade state-authorized sports gambling with some exceptions. It made Nevada the only state where a person could wager on the results of a single game.


Many states have hoped their cut of legalized sports gambling could help solve budget problems. Stock prices for casino operators and equipment makers surged after the ruling was announced.


The ruling, in a case from New Jersey, creates an opening to bring an activity out of the shadows that many Americans already see as a mainstream hobby. The American Gaming Association estimates that Americans illegally wager about $150 billion on sports each year, and one research firm estimated before the ruling that if the Supreme Court were to strike down the law 32 states would likely offer sports betting within five years.


Justice Samuel Alito wrote for the court, “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.”


Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor dissented. Ginsburg wrote for the three that when a portion of a law violates the Constitution, the court “ordinarily engages in a salvage rather than a demolition operation,” preserving what it can. She said that instead of using a “scalpel to trim the statute” her colleagues used “an axe” to cut the remainder down. Breyer agreed with the majority of the court that part of the law must be struck down but said that should not have doomed the rest of the law.


Concerned that questions will be raised at some point that betting could affect teams’ performance and the outcome of games, all four major U.S. professional sports leagues, the NCAA and the federal government had urged the court to uphold the federal law. In court, the NBA, NFL, NHL and Major League Baseball had argued that New Jersey’s gambling expansion would hurt the integrity of their games. Outside court, however, leaders of all but the NFL have shown varying degrees of openness to legalized sports gambling.


Daily Fantasy Sports Giant Poised to Become Major Player in New Market

BOSTON, Mass., May 14, 2018  DraftKings, Inc. announced that the company will enter the sports betting market following the United States Supreme Court’s decision today overturning the outdated Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act.


“Our mission has always been to bring fans closer to the sports they love and now, thanks to the wisdom of the Supreme Court, DraftKings will be able to harness our proven technology to provide our customers with innovative online sports betting products,” said Jason Robins, CEO and co-founder of DraftKings. “This ruling gives us the ability to further diversify our product offerings and build on our unique capacity to drive fan engagement.”

DraftKings is well-positioned to capitalize on sports betting, given that it already runs the world’s largest daily fantasy sports mobile platform that includes stringent consumer protections and transparency for nearly 10 million customers. Even with today’s announcement, DraftKings remains fully committed to its popular daily fantasy sports business, which will continue to be a major focus for the company.


Nearly two-thirds of Americans support legalized sport betting and today’s move lifting this antiquated prohibition also opens the door for greater consumer protections and transparency through online wagering. The addition of online and mobile sports betting holds the potential to generate billions of dollars annually for cash-strapped state governments.


“Today’s Supreme Court ruling is welcome news to the millions of Americans who currently wager $150 billion illegally each year through off-shore, black market bookies,” said Robins. “States are now free to allow their residents to place mobile sports bets with licensed, trusted companies based in the U.S. and that pay taxes here.”


In anticipation of a favorable ruling by the Court, DraftKings has been preparing since 2017 to launch a sports betting platform for mobile, providing another advantage for the company. DraftKings is working with state regulatory officials to apply for operating licenses in those states that have already passed legislation authorizing sports betting.




In a statement, the NFL called on Congress "to enact a core regulatory framework for legalized sports betting."


In a 7-2 decision handed down on Monday, the Supreme Court struck down the 1992 federal ban on sports gambling. "The NFL's long-standing and unwavering commitment to protecting the integrity of our game remains absolute," the league said in a statement following the ruling. "We also will work closely with our clubs to ensure that any state efforts that move forward in the meantime protect our fans and the integrity of our game." Considering how much was legally and illegally bet on the NFL already -- $4.76 billion on the 2018 Super Bowl alone according to the American Gaming Association -- the league's argument that legalized betting would affect the integrity of their game is highly spurious. Instead of putting up barriers, the league should be paving the way for legalized sports betting and the significant bump in interest and ratings it would bring.
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According to the ESPN State tracker, things are going pretty smoothly at this point (considering how slow legislations are pass at the political level).






It will be interesting to see how the landscape looks 2 years down the line. 


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The problem with legalized sports betting, for the gamblers, is now it's taxable if you win.  No hiding it.  You're still paying the vig if you lose, but now you lose like 30% of your winnings if you win because it's on the books that are reported to the IRS.  You were far better off gambling with an illegal bookie.

Honestly I don't know how any gambler actually wins money considering you lose an additional 10% (or more) if you lose and you lose 30%+ of your winnings every year.

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  • 4 weeks later...

i dont understand why you tax winnings whole point of betting companies is to act freely. UK never have such problem and never have to declare as far as i know. if anyone is laundering through betting good luck to them, but great way to clean money if u know what youre doing. 

good move for US but this tax thing is a bit of a yoke.

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