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Published On: Mon, May 14th, 2018

SCOTUS strikes down sports betting ban, essentially legalizing gambling

The Supreme Court on Monday struck down a federal law that effectively banned commercial sports betting in most states, basically legalizing sports betting by allowing states to decide how they want to manage the gambling enterprise.

The 6-3 ruling is a victory for New Jersey and other states who have considered allowing sports gambling as a way to encourage tourism and tax revenue.

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The court said the federal law violated constitutional principles limiting the federal government from controlling state policy, unconstitutionally forcing states to prohibit sports betting under their own laws.

“The legalization of sports gambling requires an important policy choice, but the choice is not ours to make,” Justice Samuel Alito wrote in the 6-3 opinion. “Congress can regulate sports gambling directly, but if it elects not to do so, each state is free to act on its own.”

No surprise that the stock market reacted immediately: Caesars Entertainment rose 6%, and DraftKings said it will enter the sports betting market.

“Today’s decision clears the way for all states to make their own decisions about legalizing sports betting, and in one fell swoop gets rid of Nevada’s monopoly on the subject and the 1992 federal statute that had protected it,” said Steve Vladeck, CNN Supreme Court analyst and professor of law at the University of Texas School of Law.

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“The question now is whether Congress will leave the states to make their own choices or will now try to enact some kind of federal regulation of sports betting,” Vladeck added.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy celebrated the decision, which began with a lawsuit brought by former-Gov. Chris Christie.

“I am thrilled to see the Supreme Court finally side with New Jersey and strike down the arbitrary ban on sports betting imposed by Congress decades ago,” Murphy said Monday. “Today’s ruling will finally allow for authorized facilities in New Jersey to take the same bets that are legal in other states in our country.”

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dissented, and joined by Justice Sonia Sotomayor and Justice Stephen Breyer in part, criticized the majority for wielding an ax to “cut down” down the entire statute instead of “using a scalpel to trim the statute.”
Ginsburg suggested the law could be severed for a less broad ruling that would only impact the states and not private parties.

The NCAA, NFL and NBA had backed the federal prohibition.

About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professional in 2008 on sites like Examiner and blogs: Desk of Brian, Crazed Fanboy. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) will be a licensed Assembly of God Pastor by the Spring of 2017. "Why do we do this?" I was asked and the answer is simple. "I just want the truth. I want a source of information that tells me what's going and clearly attempts to separate opinion from fact. Set aside left and right, old and young, just point to the world and say, 'Look!'" To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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