There is plenty of excitement on the field regarding Legal Sports Betting. This is due to the prospect of the introduction of the Federal Sports Betting Bill by US Senator Orrin Hatch. Sports fans in the US can rejoice as the possibility of placing bets could happen in a matter of weeks.
The story so far:
On Monday 14th May, the Supreme Court repealed a 25-year-old federal law. This law had banned sports betting to take place in most places outside Nevada. The law also did not allow states to regulate sports gambling within their borders.
After the Supreme Court’s opinion on Monday, New Jersey, and other states would be able to set rules and regulations as per their liking for sports gambling.
Though Senator Hatch has advocated federal legislation it is presently unclear what exactly his betting bill would include. However, he did indicate that things have changed rapidly in the last few years due to the convenience Internet provides in sports betting. He also said that his main intention behind introducing the legislation was to help in protecting honesty and principles in the arena of sports.
The Supreme Court’s rationale behind the repeal was that the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) is not consistent with the Constitution. It also said that if the Congress elects not to regulate sports gambling directly, each state could do so on their own. More than 20 states are now considering the next steps forward in this direction.
After Supreme Court’s opinion on Monday, there was a lot of shock and excitement seen not only in the sports and gambling world but also in casinos, ballparks, etc. Even gaming operators and lawmakers of the State were busy understanding and sorting out the implications of this move. Preparations have started to ensure that business can be opened as soon as possible.
What the future holds:
New Jersey and Delaware will be the first to jump in the fray, followed closely by other states. Many venues in New Jersey are preparing to add sports betting. One such example is Monmouth Park, which already has its infrastructure in place and had been waiting for the go ahead.
While there seems to be a largely positive sentiment to the Supreme Court opinion, there are some factions which have certain concerns. These are primarily about which of the two options would professional leagues prefer: federal control or state-based control.
So far, it seems that the efforts on a state-by-state basis have not been as successful and leagues might still prefer a federal solution. What is interesting to be seen is whether the framework that Senator Hatch will come up with would be in alignment with the interests of the league. Only time will tell, so let us wait and watch.