Today the United States Supreme Court ruled to strike down an existing sportsbetting ban and opened the possibility for states to legalize and regulate the activity how they see fit. This ruling will have long-lasting repercussions for many laws, but will likely facilitate the growth of online betting in the country as well.
The court ruled that the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) was unconstitutional, as it violated the anti-commandeering laws. Previous court rulings have stipulated that the federal government cannot force a state to enforce federal law, and thus PASPA was unconstitutional as it commandeered states who were trying to enforce their own state regulations.
The ruling will have a lot of influence on different areas, but almost certainly lead to growth in the online gambling sector. Before the ruling, various states had worked on legalizing and regulating online betting. Three states have regulated online betting in some manner, with New Jersey and Delaware offering online casino games and poker, while Nevada has just poker. Along with the Department of Justice's 2011 opinion on The Wire Act (which opinioned that the law only applied to sportsbetting), a repeal of PASPA will open online betting in America, as nearly all obstacles have been removed.
As New Jersey has shown, online betting can be a lucrative industry if the state's size is adequate and the right services are offered. The Garden State's success in casino games and their Supreme Court victory can now be applied two-fold to states looking to offer services to punters. States like California (pop. 40 million), Texas (pop. 28 million), and Pennsylvania (pop. 12 million) all will be lucrative markets for online gaming, and sportsbetting services will likely be a big pull. For states, the motivation is to generate tax revenues for bloated budgets that often are a cause for concern. Offering online services like this will lead to funds going to possibly pave roads, boost school funds, or improve health services for the poor. There's simply too much incentive to ignore the possibility of legalizing these betting options.
For bettors, the prospect of legal sportsbetting is intriguing. Those who love football, basketball, soccer, and baseball will likely have the option to add some spice to their spectating. Instead of flocking to illegal bookies, they'll instead be able to put in a bet on their phone or at a corner store, or at a land casino. These legitimate options will keep people from having to deal with shady characters, who often have the reputation of not being kind to those that owe money.
This ruling by the Supreme Court will change betting in America as we know it. It may take some time for states to begin getting their regulation laws in place, but once it does, you're going to see betting take off and options opening up to players for the better. Here's hoping it doesn't take too long to see those changes implemented.