Wednesday, 16 January, 2019

Sports wagering is a freedom, not just a source of state revenue

Dennis Drazin | Patty Wolfe Dennis Drazin | Patty Wolfe
Deanna Wagner | 17 May, 2018, 04:03

The Supreme Court's ruling Monday authorizing state-sanctioned sports betting could have profound implications for a host of other issues. Casinos and race tracks are celebrating the news; owners say the lift on the ban will generate revenue and a source of entertainment. New Jersey said the Constitution allows Congress to pass laws barring wagering on sports, but Congress can't require states to keep sports gambling prohibitions in place. The law also enabled Delaware, Montana and OR to have limited legal sports gambling. A U.S. Supreme Court ruling this week wiped out a federal law barring betting on most sports.

"The legalization of sports gambling requires an important policy choice, but the choice is not ours to make".

All four major US professional sports leagues, the NCAA and the federal government had urged the court to uphold the federal law.

Now comes an opportunity to give patrons another gaming option, betting on sports. Harkins believes the state could roll out sports betting in major casinos in time for the start of NFL football this fall.

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It's not like casino gaming is struggling in Oklahoma. AGA President Geoff Freeman described the high court's opinion as "a victory for the millions of Americans who seek to bet on sports in a safe and regulated manner".

Joining Alito in the majority were Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justices Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas, Elena Kagan and Neil Gorsuch. The measure "unequivocally dictates what a state legislature may and may not do", he wrote.

Justice Samuel Alito wrote for the 6-3 majority that a federal law barring state governments from authorizing sports gambling is unconstitutional under the "anti-commandeering doctrine", which holds that Congress may not tell state governments what they can not do.