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Supreme Court ends sports betting law

WASHINGTON– The Supreme Court has struck down a federal law that barred gambling on football, basketball, baseball and other sports in most states.

Now, states can legalize betting on sports.

According to multiple reports, the Supreme Court on Monday ended the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection act.

The law, which was enacted in 1992, barred state-authorized sports gambling with only minor exceptions.

Nevada was the only state where a person could wager on the results of a single game.

One research firm estimated that if the Supreme Court were to end the law that 32 states would likely offer sports betting within five years.

The court’s decision came in a case from New Jersey, which upheld the legality of a 2014 state law permitting sports betting at New Jersey casinos and horse racetracks while voiding the act, according to Reuters.

American Gaming Association (AGA) President and CEO Geoff Freeman issued the following statement after the announcement of the Supreme Court’s opinion on Murphy v. National Collegiate Athletic Association:

“Today’s decision is a victory for the millions of Americans who seek to bet on sports in a safe and regulated manner. According to a Washington Post survey, a solid 55 percent of Americans believe it’s time to end the federal ban on sports betting. Today’s ruling makes it possible for states and sovereign tribal nations to give Americans what they want: an open, transparent, and responsible market for sports betting. Through smart, efficient regulation this new market will protect consumers, preserve the integrity of the games we love, empower law enforcement to fight illegal gambling, and generate new revenue for states, sporting bodies, broadcasters and many others. The AGA stands ready to work with all stakeholders – states, tribes, sports leagues, and law enforcement – to create a new regulatory environment that capitalizes on this opportunity to engage fans and boost local economies.”

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board is reviewing the court opinion, according to  spokesman Doug Harbach.

“The Gaming Expansion legislation, Act 42 of 2017, did specifically authorize sports wagering by the Commonwealth’s land-based casinos when a Federal Court decision was reached that permits a state to regulate sports wagering. The Board is reviewing the court opinion in its entirety to properly understand the full opinion.

“The Pennsylvania legislature saw sports wagering as a key element of overall gaming expansion and took the initiative prior to this decision to authorize sports wagering which does provide some guidelines on implementation,.

“At this time, we cannot provide a timetable on the completion and approval of these regulations or the launch of sports wagering in Pennsylvania,” Harbach said.