Supreme Court Opens Door For Legalized Sports Betting

Posted at 9:21 PM, May 14, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-14 23:12:41-04

The Supreme Court has struck down a federal law that bars gambling on football, basketball, baseball and other sports in most states, giving states the go-ahead to legalize betting on sports.

The Supreme Court on Monday struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act. The 1992 law barred state-authorized sports gambling with some exceptions. It made Nevada the only state where a person could wager on the results of a single game.

One research firm estimated before the ruling that if the Supreme Court were to strike down the law, 32 states would likely offer sports betting within five years.

However, change may come slower in Tennessee. State laws would have to be repealed or changed before sports betting would be allowed and the state constitution may have to be amended, as well. 

The court's decision came in a case from New Jersey, which has fought for years to legalize gambling on sports at casinos and racetracks in the state.

Supporters have argued sports betting could boost tourism and generate new revenue for states. However, critics have expressed concerns about how betting could impact the integrity of professional sports games and felt regulations are necessary.

At, a Nashville company that provides content for daily fantasy sports games, the news of the ruling was met with excitement. 

“It just means more opportunity for us to provide content to help people make sports bets,” said CEO Calvin Spears. “Every year there will be multiple states that will come online, and that will create opportunities for us. We’ve got a lot of work to do.”

After the ruling the NFL released the following statement: 

“The NFL’s long-standing and unwavering commitment to protecting the integrity of our game remains absolute.  Congress has long-recognized the potential harms posed by sports betting to the integrity of sporting contest and the public confidence in these events. Given that history, we intend to call on Congress again, this time to enact a core regulatory framework for legalized sports betting. We also will work closely with our clubs to ensure that any state efforts that move forward in the meantime protect our fans and the integrity of our game.”

The NHL added:

“The Supreme Court’s decision today paves the way to an entirely different landscape – one in which we have not previously operated. We will review our current practices and policies and decide whether adjustments are needed, and if so, what those adjustments will look like. It’s important to emphasize that the Supreme Court’s decision has no immediate impact on existing League rules relating to sports wagering, and particularly, wagering involving NHL games.”