Where Is Sports Betting Legal?

Getty The Supreme Court ruling has paved the way for sports gambling to legalized in multiple states.

The Supreme Court’s ruling to legalize sports betting in New Jersey will have an impact on states across the country. According to ESPN, Mississippi, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Connecticut are all states that recently passed bills that allow them to join New Jersey in acting quickly in response to the Supreme Court ruling. Nevada, Delaware, Montana and Oregon already had some forms of sports wagering legalized tied to a 1992 federal ruling.

When can people in New Jersey start betting on sports? According to The Morning Call, the turnaround time could be as quick as two weeks. Manmouth Park, a New Jersey race track, is likely to be one of the first places in the area that will be open for business.

What did the Supreme Court’s ruling on sports gambling do? Essentially, it gives each state the power to make its own decision about sports betting. Here’s the specific details of the ruling per NPR.

The Supreme Court has struck down a 1992 federal law that effectively prevented most states from legalizing sports betting, clearing up a legal gray area and opening a door for state governments to join in what has become a lucrative industry.

“Congress can regulate sports gambling directly, but if it elects not to do so, each State is free to act on its own,” the court wrote in a decision released Monday.

The law known as the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, passed in 1992, prohibited sports betting, except in four states where it had already been legalized — Nevada, Delaware, Montana and Oregon. It gave the other states one year to legalize such betting, if they wanted to.

Mississippi is one key state to watch as they are one of the few states outside of Nevada to already have numerous casinos in place. According to the Sun Herald, House Bill 967 was passed in 2017, and opened the door for sports betting to be legalized pending the Supreme Court ruling.

“We did make modifications to Gaming Control Act that would allow for the Gaming Commission to regulate sports betting if it were ever to be overturned at the federal level,” Rep. Scott DeLano told the Sun Herald.

According to ESPN, the following states have similar bills that have been introduced, but have not yet been passed: Michigan, Illinois, New York, Rhode Island, Indiana, Iowa, California, Missouri, Kentucky, Maryland, Kansas, South Carolina, Oklahoma and Louisiana.

ESPN detailed California’s constitutional amendment regarding sports gambling.

In July 2017, Assembly Member Adam Gray introduced a constitutional amendment that would allow the state “to permit sports wagering only if a change in federal law occurs.” The proposed amendment specifically refers to PASPA’s federal sports betting ban being amended or repealed. “All other gaming activities in California are subject to regulations that ensure the safety of consumers,” said Gray in a press release. “Sports wagering should be treated no differently.”

According to The Morning Call, Pennsylvania will be able to act on the new ruling thanks to a law that was passed connected with the 2017-18 budget. Existing casinos can take sports bets “through an internet-based system”, but it could take a couple months for the system to be put in place.

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