The U.S. Supreme Court overturned a ruling on Monday that prevented states from making their own laws for sports betting. Sports betting was previously only legal in Nevada. The new ruling allows other states a path to making sports betting legal.
The court overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act. That ruling from 1992 prohibited states from having their own sports gambling laws, save for Nevada, where gambling was legal. Oregon, Montana and Delaware were all grandfathered in to the law. This new ruling was the result of New Jersey vs. NCAA, a court case where the NCAA, MLB, NFL and NHL sued the state after New Jersey argued it should be able to have legalized sports betting.
What’s the NCAA saying about the potential of legalized sports gambling?
“Today the United States Supreme Court issued a clear decision that PASPA is unconstitutional, reversing the lower courts that held otherwise,” NCAA chief legal officer Donald Remy said in a statement. “While we are still reviewing the decision to understand the overall implications to college sports. We will adjust sports wagering and championship policies to align with the direction from the court.”
That’s a slightly surprising statement, at least on its face. The NCAA sued New Jersey to keep sports gambling from becoming legal. Now that it appears to be on the verge of legality, the NCAA isn’t decrying the move. That’s a bit odd, considering this is something on the NCAA’s official website:
“The NCAA opposes all forms of legal and illegal sports wagering, which has the potential to undermine the integrity of sports contests and jeopardizes the welfare of student-athletes and the intercollegiate athletics community.”
What does this mean for my favorite college sports team?
In order to legalize sports betting, states have to draft legislation. This ruling does not mean sports betting is immediately legal in your state.
New Jersey was the state fighting hardest for sports betting to become legal, so it’s a good bet that the Garden State will be able to legalize sports betting soon. Almost 20 other states have legislation on the way, according to The Washington Post. ESPN’s estimates have Connecticut, Iowa, Mississippi, New York, Pennsylvania and West Virginia in the “on deck circle” after New Jersey.