For years the world had been wondering, when will the US legalize sports betting? In 2018, it finally happened. The victory of New Jersey in a Supreme Court case changed the fate of sports betting. In the case Murphy vs. the National Collegiate Athletic Association, the Supreme court decided in a 6-3 ruling that the federal Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) indeed violates the anti-commandeering principle.
This means that the federal government doesn’t have the right to impose targeted regulation upon states but rather the states should regulate these matters on their own. The court stated that the federal Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) violates the “anti-commandeering” principle in preventing New Jersey from modifying or repealing its laws prohibiting sports gambling.
Many people, like myself, initially thought it would a matter of months that states would push through regulation. That’s for the simple reason that there is a lot of business and tax advantage for them to do so. However, some states seemed rather reluctant. Why weren’t they eager to welcome sports betting you wonder?
Lead by example
Like with most new developments, people and also states tend to look at each other. What’s next? What should we do? Of course, New Jersey, winning the case, was the first one to come up with regulation. Sports bets skyrocketed with $300 million worth of bets per month. They’ve continued to maintain this number for the last 6 consecutive months. States witnessing the rapid New Jersey success reacted and now we have a solid stream of states on the road to finalizing sports betting regulation. Although Not yet one-fifth of the states have proceeded to legalize sports betting, that is soon to change. After New Jersey setting the example and being successful, things have been moving quite quickly.
New Jersey had been battling to overthrow the federal law prohibiting sports betting for years, finally with success in 2018. Now, one year forward, it’s easy to see why they’ve pushed so hard for it. It boosted the local economy in casino’s, for example, Caesars Entertainment in Atlantic City. Creating new jobs, attracting many visitors, especially throughout the summer months. It has proven an excellent development for Jersey. FanDuel also confirms this, the fantasy sports site that operates a sportsbook at the Meadowlands Racetrack, which is located just out of New York City.
New Jersey voters poll
Why was it New Jersey to be the state that successfully challenged the ban and not another state? New Jersey has always been more in favor of legalizing sports betting than other states. Their more progressive attitude along with a keen interest to boost local business drove them to fight the fight. To get an idea of what the public’s opinion on the topic was, New Jersey conducted a poll amongst its residents. The result? 91% of the voters were in favor of legalizing. They wanted the freedom to regulate this matter by themselves and the freedom to bet on sports, like in many countries in the world has been legal for years.
Legalization in other US states
It’s true that the states have a lot of catching up to do when it comes to sports betting online and even in real life. When you compare it to the UK, it will be a tough challenge to measure up to the quality. However, with a lot of well-willing people and benefits involved for everyone, the sports betting business will undoubtedly thrive.