If you’re the wager-happy type, you started your week with some great news. On Monday the Supreme Court handed down a landmark decision, voting 7-2 in favor of striking down a law that banned sports gambling at the federal level. Essentially, this will lay the groundwork for individual states to begin allowing legal sports betting.
Do you suddenly feel that walkaround cash burning a hole in your pocket? You’re not alone.
Sports gambling is a major industry, even though Nevada is the only state in the union to formally permit it. The void has been primarily filled with your stereotypical bookmaking, offshore betting sites and sketchy transactions. It’s been estimated that nearly $150 billion is illegally wagered in the United States annually.
To say that states may want to (gambling pun incoming) get in on the action is an understatement. It represents a massive chunk of tax revenue for state governments, and with Monday’s decision, you’ll begin to see the dominoes start to fall regarding sports betting laws.
Opposing the decision were the major sports leagues—of course—citing the impact that legalized gambling may have on the integrity of their games. The cynic in me thinks there’s a money issue that’s secretly fueling the opposition.
There’s no real timetable for states to begin to rewrite their gambling laws, but this is a major breakthrough in the United States. Sports gambling is ubiquitous around the world, with many top flight leagues being sponsored by wagering outlets. We’ll see what state is the first to enact new laws.