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US Supreme Court overturns ban on sports betting nationwide

A number of states poised to legalise sports betting

Nevada will no longer hold a monopoly on legal sports betting in the United States. The Supreme Court has ruled to allow more states to accommodate legal sports betting – and the tax revenues that come along with it.

The federal law in question – one that required a ban of sports betting at the state level – was struck down in a 6-3 ruling. The now-overturned Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act was an unusual piece of legislation that did not ban sports betting as a matter of national law, but prohibited the states themselves from permitting it.

With major sports leagues opening up to the prospect of legal betting, and looking to secure a share of the earnings, the stage is set for a major market to open in the United States. A number of states are already poised to phase in legalised sports betting, and progress is expected fairly quickly. New Jersey and then-Governor Chris Christie spearheaded the challenge to the federal ban, arguing that it violated the Tenth Amendment, which the Supreme Court has said prohibits federal laws that compel states to carry out federal dictates.

The gambling law, Christie said, commandeered the states by forcing them to prohibit sports wagering. Former Governor Christie made the following statement via tweet: “A great day for the rights of states and their people to make their own decisions. New Jersey citizens wanted sports gambling and the federal Gov't had no right to tell them no. The Supreme Court agrees with us today. I am proud to have fought for the rights of the people of NJ.”

His enthusiasm was matched New Jersey's current governor, Phil Murphy, who described himself 'thrilled' by the ruling and would work with state lawmakers to enact a law authorizing sports betting 'in the very near future'.

"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," Murphy said.

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