States Allowed by Supreme Court to Make Sports Gambling Legal

The Supreme Court cleared all roadblocks on May 14 for states to fully legalize sports betting. The six for and three against ruling represents a victory for New Jersey and a number of other states which have toyed with the idea of permitting sports gambling as a solution to increase tax revenues. They hoped that this step will encourage tourism as well.

Laws made

The new judgment struck down a 1992-era federal law which stopped the majority of the states from authorizing betting on sports activities. The old stricture was backed by the NBA, NCAA, and the NFL. The court, in its order, stated that the federal law was in direct violation of constitutional principles. It restricted the federal government from any say in controlling state policy. The court also noted that states can allow betting on sports if their own laws permit it to do so. Justice Samuel Alito wrote in a 6-3 opinion that sports gambling legalization needs a vital policy choice- and this should be made by the state alone. The court has no say in the matter. The Justices pointed out that Congress could directly regulate sports gambling activities. If it chooses not to exercise this right, then each state can do its own.


The ruling had an immediate effect on the stock market. The stock price of Caesars Entertainment went north by six percent. DraftKings said it will make an entry into sports betting market. Phil Murphy, the Governor of New Jersey, celebrated this decision. Incidentally, the case started with a lawsuit made by Chris Christie, his predecessor in the position. Governor Murphy said that he was thrilled to observe the Supreme Court give a judgment in favor of New Jersey and shut down the arbitrary ban on betting on sports activities imposed by Congress many years before. The ruling will permit the New Jersey-authorized facilities to take the same bets which are legal in other US states.

Donald Remy, the chief legal officer of the NCAA, said in his statement that while the organization continues to review how the decision of the court will affect college sports, it will surely have the effect of aligning championship policies and sports wagering with the court's directions. A statement released by Major League Baseball said that the decision will have considerable effects on this sport. The statement said that it is a priority to protect the games' integrity.

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