Sports betting has remained largely illegal throughout the United States of America with the exception of a few states. What this means for basketball betting enthusiasts is that placing bets on NBA games are outlawed as well. However, this could soon change as per reports from the Guardian and USAtoday. The Supreme Court is looking into the matter currently and there is reason to believe that they might just have the same type of outlook on the subject as the State of New Jersey which is fighting for the right to make their own state laws and regulations about sports betting. If the Supreme Court rules that the power to decide whether or not sports betting should be illegal maybe determined by the state laws, then we may just see several states legalize sports betting in the near future. So, if you want to place a bet on an NBA game, no need to travel to Vegas to be able to do it.
New Jersey State is making a real noise about the subject and they want to see that the law banning states from legalizing and regulating sports betting be abolished. If the Supreme Court does decide that this law is kind of obsolete and should be done away with, then essentially, the law banning states from legalizing will no longer be imposed and this will not only effect New Jersey, but every other state in the United States.
As per experts, if the Supreme Court gives the green light and thwarts down the law abolishing the legalization of Sports Betting, then it is estimated that as many as 32 states will go ahead and legalize sports betting. Therefore, people based out of these states can make bets on both professional and college sports leagues.
This case puts New Jersey on one side and pits them against the four major USA sports leagues (NBA, NFL, NHL and MLB) that would rather have the law in place. As per statistics and survey results from the American Gaming Associations, nearly $150 billion dollars is placed as illegal bets by punters throughout America.
While New Jersey state argues that the power should be vested in the state, the opposition which is basically – NBA, NFL, NHL and MLB are arguing that allowing states to decide whether sports betting should be illegal or not will potentially be a great threat to the integrity of their sports. With that said, at times, the leaders of most of these leagues (except NFL) have all been open to the idea of legalized sports betting to a certain extent in the past.
New Jersey is not alone in its quest to be able to decide whether sports betting should be legal or not, there are over a dozen states which are supporting New Jersey in its battle. As per these states, the argument is that the law which was introduced in 1992 is not constitutional and congress over stepped their powers by passing this piece of federal legislation.
After initial hearings, justices Elenal Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor said that the law of 1992 was OK, but most other judges such as Anthony Kennedy and Paul Clement seem to think that the law is not constitutional.
However, there are some states which have not been and will not be affected by the verdict of the Supreme Court. States such as Nevada, Montana, Oregon and Delaware are not subjected to the 1992 law and in these states, the state legislators will vote to decide whether sports betting should be legal or not.
There does seem to be a loop hole in the 1992 law which does not exclusively ban wagers being placed amongst friends. Also, the law did allow states like New Jersey to allow for sports betting in casinos, but New Jersey simply did not act on it in time. Nevada happens to be the only state in the USA where a punter can place a bet on the outcome of a single game. Furthermore, the law of 1992 allowed the State of New Jersey a time period of one year to authorize sports betting at their casinos, but the state did not take any action within this time window. After their time to act had passed, the state of New Jersey attempted to legalize sports betting and were sued by all four sporting leagues, in that case, the State of New Jersey lost the case in state court. New Jersey had not given up, they tried, in 2014, to abolish laws prohibiting sports betting and casinos and horse racetracks, however, they ended up on the losing side again when the case went to court.
Gov. Chris Christie has attempted to have sports betting legalized several times and failed, however, he is going to get one last chance prior to his leaving office next month. Come Monday, the Supreme Court will contemplate arguments from the state and the four major sporting leagues as to the legalization of sports betting. The verdict may come sooner than expected in the case and several court watchers believe that this time, the verdict could well be in favor of the state and not the sporting leagues. How will it all transpire? Well, we will just have to wait and watch.
If New Jersey comes out on top, any state that wants to legalize and regulate sports betting will have the ability to do so. Given the sheer amount of taxes and revenue it can generate, this would be appealing to most states. If, on the other hand, a state decides that sports betting should remain illegal then they have they power to outlaw it as well. The power to legalize or outlaw sports betting will now lay in the hands of the state governments and it will no longer be dictated by the federal law which simply disallows state governments from making any legislation pertaining to sports betting at all. The act which will be the hot topic of discussion is known as the Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) and it was passed in the year 1992.