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Supreme Court Letting States Legalize Sports Gambling

On Monday, May 14, the Supreme Court ruled to allow states to legalize sports gambling. The now-landmark case, Murphy v. NCAA, is already having immediate ramifications, with several states beginning the process of trying to legalize sports gambling and betting, as well as the NCAA lifting their ban on hosting championship competitions in states that already have gambling.

The decision, which was a 6-3 vote, strikes down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 as unconstitutional, saying that the federal law violated constitutional principles limiting the federal government from controlling state policy, unconstitutionally forcing states to prohibit sports betting under their own laws.

In the 6-3 opinion, Justice Samuel Alito wrote, “The legalization of sports gambling requires an important policy choice, but the choice is not ours to make. Congress can regulate sports gambling directly, but if it elects not to do so, each state is free to act on its own.” Now, however, Congress will have to decide if it chooses to enact federal regulation, or just allow each state to decide their policy on their own.

Since the decision, Caesar’s Entertainment stock has increased 6% and fantasy sports platform Draft Kings has announced that it will enter the sports betting market. Many leagues, including the NCAA, NBA, and MLB, have responded with statements vowing to protect the integrity of their respective sports, as well as calling for swift regulation of a now-unchecked industry. States will be looking to capitalize on the decision as a means of increasing tourism and tax revenue, but regulation will surely be coming to sports gambling sooner rather than later.

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