Supreme Court Rules Sports Gambling Ban as Unconstitutional


On Monday, May 14, the United States Supreme Court ruled 6-3 that the ban on sports gambling was unconstitutional. The state of New Jersey had filed a lawsuit to overturn the ban, whilst Nevada represented the only state with legalized sports gambling.

In 2012, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie had attempted to legalize sports gambling as an effort to boost the state economy. The attempt was beaten back by a coalition of the NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB, and the NCAA. The lower courts sided with the coalition, which forced New Jersey to take the case to the Supreme Court.

The sports community has reacted indifferently towards the decision. Most of the concern has been to keep integrity strong as the games do take place across the nation.

Colin Cowherd from Fox Sports Herdline News says, “Most states, unless you’re conservative Utah or conservative Alabama…most states…because you’re looking for new revenue streams, this is why you are seeing all sorts of states approve legalized marijuana use. I would imagine 40 to 45 states minimum will say absolutely.”

Cowherd went on to congratulate the Supreme Court for making a “level-headed, reasonable decision.”

But how will this ruling affect college-level sports?

Where direct effects could be minimal to none, the ruling is sure to cause more indirect effects in college athletics. Many college athletes look into either being drafted or signing on with a pro team. Sports gambling may inadvertently cause these athletes to look to more successful teams, rather than those with previous, less-profitable seasons. This is not to say athletes will make more money, but simply drawing more eyes to teams with positive seasons.

Legal problems are sure to come from this ruling, particular when some states allow the gambling while others don’t. Those that do will, of course, have laws with a variety of difference between them. Regulations will probably be put in place by the federal government to keep the states on some form of level playing field.

New Jersey will likely be the first state to implement sports gambling after the Supreme Court’s ruling. As more states become involved, both the federal government and legal branches of the major league sports organizations may do their bit to take part in the action.

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