The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday that states can legalize sports betting, breaking up Nevada’s monopoly on the practice.
The court upheld the legality of a 2014 New Jersey law permitting sports betting at casinos and racetracks in the state and voided the federal Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act. Some states see sports betting, like lotteries, as a potentially important source of tax revenue.
The Supreme Court justices struck down the entire federal law on a 6-3 vote, with Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Stephen Breyer dissenting.
“The legalization of sports gambling requires an important policy choice, but the choice is not ours to make. Congress can regulate sports gambling directly, but if it elects not to do so, each state is free to act on its own,” Justice Samuel Alito wrote in the majority opinion.
The state law at issue would allow people age 21 and above to bet on sports at New Jersey casinos and racetracks but would ban wagers on college teams based in or playing in the state.
“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,” New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said in a statement. “I look forward to working with the Legislature to enact a law authorizing and regulating sports betting in the very near future.”
The ruling takes the U.S. a step closer to legal sports betting in numerous states, possibly even nationwide. Currently, the practice is legal only in select places such as Nevada, home to the gambling capital Las Vegas. While Nevada’s Gaming Control board reported $4.8 billion in sports bets last year, the black market total is considered to be many times the legal market.
Americans wager “$150 billion illegally each year through off-shore, black market bookies,” DraftKings CEO Jason Robins said in a statement. The fantasy sports company has nearly 10 million customers across the country. After the ruling, DraftKings announced plans to launch a mobile platform for sports betting to tap into the new market. FanDuel is an online based betting platform where you can bet for fun, and once you are confident, you can bet with cash. This could be a good place to start getting into online betting because you can start off playing whilst not risking any of your assets.
“States are now free to allow their residents to place mobile sports bets with licensed, trusted companies based in the U.S. and that pay taxes here,” Robins said.