Justices tilt against sports betting
WASHINGTON - The US Supreme Court gave a strong indication on Monday it would overturn a federal ban on sports betting, clearing the way for states to legalize gambling on professional and college sporting events.
The nine justices heard arguments in a case brought by New Jersey that sought to overturn the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) of 1992, a law that effectively outlawed sports betting except in Nevada.
A decision is due by the end of June. Some justices indicated they were ready to strike down PASPA as unconstitutional interference with state rights.
Justices Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor appeared most likely to side with New Jersey. Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito were seen as likely to uphold the law.
Liberal Justice Elena Kagan appeared conflicted.
Greg Gatto, who leads government relations for the American Gaming Association, said after the arguments that he was “cautiously optimistic” about the prospects for legalized sports betting following the court’s questioning.
“It sounded like there were some pretty strong signals from a number of justices that this law is unconstitutional,” Gatto said. “We’ll have to see how it all shakes out.”
Two justices vote against legalizing sports betting
Two justices, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, dissented from the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down a federal law that bans most sports betting.
Writing for the majority, Justice Anthony Kennedy said the law “violates the principle of federalism” by prohibiting states from legalizing sports betting.
Kennedy was joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.
Thomas argued that the Constitution does not protect illegal activities such as gambling.
“Gambling has always been reason for concern, but popularity does not lessen its vice,” he wrote. “The fundamental problem with gambling is that it panders to some of our worst vices.”
Alito also took issue with the majority’s reasoning, writing that “the legalization of sports betting would dealt a serious blow to the integrity of sporting contests.”
Justices rule against sports betting
In a landmark decision, the United States Supreme Court has ruled that sports betting is unconstitutional. The decision overturns a 1992 law that limited sports betting to Nevada and four other states.
“This decision opens the door to widespread sports gambling,” wrote Justice Samuel Alito in the majority opinion. “The legalization of sports gambling requires an important policy choice, but the choice is not ours to make.”
Supporters of legalized sports betting argue that it would generate billions of dollars in revenue for state and local governments, as well as for the gaming industry. But opponents argue that it would lead to increased crime and addiction.
The Supreme Court’s decision was a victory for the NCAA and professional leagues, which had argued that the law violated the anti-commandeering doctrine, which prohibits the federal government from forcing states to adopt or enforce federal laws.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dissented, arguing that Congress should be allowed to regulate sports betting. “The Court instead relies on Congress’s inaction since 1992 to conclude that prohibition of state-authorized sports gambling is ‘presumptively constitutional,’” she wrote. “I cannot agree.”
Sports betting unanimously struck down by Supreme Court
In a landmark decision, the Supreme Court ruled that sports betting is unconstitutional. This ruling comes as a huge victory for anti-gambling advocates and a significant setback for the gaming industry.
The ruling was unanimous, with all justices voting in favor. It overturned a lower court ruling that had upheld New Jersey’s law legalizing sports betting.
Justice Samuel Alito wrote the majority opinion, stating that the 1992 federal law banning sports betting exceeded Congress’s power to regulate interstate commerce.
“The legalization of sports gambling requires an important policy choice, but the choice is not ours to make,” he said. “Congress can regulate sports gambling directly, but if it elects not to do so, each state is free to act on its own.”
The gaming industry was quick to respond to the ruling, with several casino operators issuing statements expressing disappointment with the decision.
“This is a disappointing day for America’s workers and families who rely on casinos to provide good jobs and economic opportunity,” said American Gaming Association president and CEO Geoff Freeman. “Today’s ruling allows unchecked illegal gambling across states lines, which we know leads to corruption and organized crime.”
The decision is a major victory for anti-gambling advocates, who have long argued that legalized sports betting would lead to increased crime and addiction rates.
Supreme Court votes against sports betting
On Monday, the US Supreme Court voted 6-3 against New Jersey’s bid to legalize sports betting, dealing a major defeat to the state’s governor, Chris Christie.
New Jersey has been trying to legalize sports betting for years, arguing that it would bring in much-needed revenue to the state. The court ruled that the federal law prohibiting sports betting trumped state law.
Governor Christie was defiant in the face of defeat, vowing to continue his fight. “I am disappointed by today’s ruling, but this fight is not over,” he said in a statement.
Supporters of legalized sports betting were quick to respond to the ruling. “This is a bad day for the millions of Americans who want to see common sense regulations on sports gambling,” said Michael Green, a spokesman for the Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling.
Opponents of legalized sports betting argue that it could lead to corruption and increased crime. They also say that it would be difficult to regulate and could lead to widespread addiction problems.