By Morning Brew
Gambling fanatics across America all texted their college group chats yesterday, saying: “The Supreme Court just nixed PASPA. RIP to our bank accounts.” After all, it’s the only natural way to celebrate the end of a 25-year ban on sports gambling.
But if you didn’t get that text, you might be scratching your head, wondering, what’s PASPA?
Good question—it’s the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 that placed red tape on sports gambling in all but four states: Nevada, Delaware, Oregon, and Montana.
That is, until New Jersey had something to say about it
Flashback to 2011. New Jersey introduced sports gambling legislation to legalize betting in casinos and racetracks. And just as it was about to give it a stamp of approval (in 2012) … the NCAA, NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL all said, “Oh, you are so sued.”
Why? Corruption, lack of proper regulation, and infringing on PASPA. One by one, courts nodded in agreement, until it was appealed all the way up to the Supreme Court.
But as the court date inched closer, a strange thing happened: anecdotal support from justices showed the tide was turning in New Jersey’s favor.
Because as Justice Alito explained…
“Congress can regulate sports gambling directly, but if it elects not to do so, each State is free to act on its own.”
Translation: PASPA was declared unconstitutional, and the decision has big (like tell-your-friends big) implications:
- Sports gambling in New Jersey could sprint out of the gate in the next two weeks.
- 20 states have already drafted legislation to regulate sports gambling. 32 states could offer legalized sports betting in the next five years.
- Struggling companies like DraftKings and FanDuel have a new lease on life.
- Sports leagues (especially the NBA and MLB) are already vying for pieces of the $150 billion gambling pie, asking for a 1 percent sports integrity fee.
Bottom line: If you thought the legalization of marijuana spread fast, just wait…