Supreme Court ruling ushers in a new era of sports wagering

Iron Bowl

A recent Supreme Court ruling has opened the door for individual U.S. states to join Nevada in offering sports wagering. This has set off a wave of excitement among sports fans who like to have a little something more than bragging rights riding on the outcome of their favorite team’s game.

The case before the Supreme Court challenging a federal rule which effectively forbid commercial sports betting in most states was championed by the state of New Jersey, whose voters passed a constitutional amendment all the way back in 2011 in favor of legalize sports wagering. In anticipation of a favorable ruling from the nation’s Supreme Court, New Jersey legislators have been working behind the scenes on a proposed bill that could make sports gambling in New Jersey legal as early as this June.

There will be a number of other states close on their heels. Connecticut, Mississippi, New York, Pennsylvania and West Virginia have recently passed laws opening the door to sports betting and at least a dozen more states have introduced similar legislation.

Sports fans – or anyone – interested in gambling and living outside of Nevada don’t have to wait for sports wagering to be made legal across the United States, however, to enjoy a casino experience. Online casinos have become increasingly popular. The Top 10 online casinos can make you feel like you’re on the Las Vegas strip without leaving the comfort of your own home.

The Supreme Court ruling, while considering the issue of sports wagering narrowly, was broadly decided upon issues of state’s rights.

“It is as if federal officers were installed in state legislative chambers and were armed with the authority to stop legislators from voting on any offending proposals,” Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. said, writing for the majority. “A more direct affront to state sovereignty is not easy to imagine.”

How the various sports leagues will respond to the ruling remains to be seen.

“The court’s decision is monumental, with far-reaching implications for baseball players and the game we love,” Tony Clark, the executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association, said in a statement. “From complex intellectual property questions to the most basic issues of player safety, the realities of widespread sports betting must be addressed urgently and thoughtfully to avoid putting our sport’s integrity at risk as states proceed with legalization.”

Thus far, the NBA seems most open-minded about embracing legal sports wagering with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver advocating as far back as 2014 for legalized betting on his sport.

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