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US Supreme Court Issues Decision Legalizing Sports Betting, Big Impact on RI

14 May 2018

The Supreme Court has struck down a 1992 federal law that effectively prevented most states from legalizing sports betting, clearing up a legal gray area and opening a door for state governments to join in what has become a lucrative industry.

"Today's Supreme Court ruling is welcome news to the millions of Americans who now wager $150 billion illegally each year through off-shore, black market bookies", Robins said.

The NCAA and major sports leagues sued New Jersey in 2012 after it passed a law with a provision to allow sports betting in the state.

Experts said sports gambling is not a huge moneymaker for casinos, in part because of the uncontrolled nature of the gambling. The Supreme Court decision will likely motivate others to kickstart efforts to get in the game as well. "It is still too early to say which specific opportunities we will pursue, but we are monitoring the situation very closely, and are prepared to act quickly as individual states move forward with legislation". "Deleting the alleged "commandeering" directions would free the statute to accomplish just what Congress legitimately sought to achieve: stopping sports-gambling regimes while making it clear that the stoppage is attributable to federal, not state, action".

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"A more direct affront to state sovereignty is not easy to imagine", Alito added.

Meadowlands Racetrack in East Rutherford has been waiting for a ruling to decide how to proceed on sports betting.

How long it takes other states to implement sports betting remains to be seen, but this is an interesting court victory for the industry.

The challenge to the federal law was brought to the Supreme Court by New Jersey, which argued Congress exceeded its authority when it passed the Sports Protection Act.

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With PASPA stricken down, states now can establish their own regulated sports betting.

But what exactly does the ruling mean for the gambling public?

The outcome of this Supreme Court ruling could have a profound impact on the many other states hoping to capitalize on the market for sports betting.

They prefer a consistent set of regulations that provide sports governing bodies with the ability to restrict or prohibit betting on league events; data rights; and a percentage of the amount bet on league events paid by operators.

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According to the Raimondo administration, the sports betting proposal for Rhode Island would follow the Las Vegas model, in that gamblers would have to make betting in-person - and not follow New Jersey's controversial online gaming model at this time.

US Supreme Court Issues Decision Legalizing Sports Betting, Big Impact on RI