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States Getting Ready for SCOTUS to Legalize Sports Betting

You can bet on anything -- even the highly anticipated decision by the U.S. Supreme Court on sports betting.

The Supreme Court is expected to decide this term whether sports betting should be legal everywhere in the United States. It is already legal in Delaware, Montana, Nevada, and Oregon; New Jersey is suing to make it legal there as well.

Legislators in 18 states are betting on a win with bills ready to regulate the industry. Of course, as any gambler knows, the house always wins.

Winners

In Las Vegas, casinos always win because they have a profitable business model. It's about the odds.

In New Jersey, it's about laws that authorized sports betting. Major sports leagues sued to stop the legislation under the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992, and the courts have ruled in their favor.

But the Supreme Court granted New Jersey's petition, and heard oral arguments in December. Many observers expect the high court to lift the federal ban.

"New Jersey will end up with sports betting no later than Week One of the next NFL season and potentially as soon as March Madness," says Daniel Wallach, a gaming law expert at Becker & Poliakoff.

Losers

For every winner there is at least one loser, they say. And fantasy sports could be on the losing side of the Supreme Court's decision, analysts say.

Anti-gambling laws created fantasy sports, which gave players a way to make money by picking winning teams. Those players may switch to traditional sports betting if it is legalized everywhere.

"If the Supreme Court opens the door to legalized sports betting, it will test the degree to which daily fantasy players have been merely biding their time," Bloomberg says.

Of course, most gamblers will lose money if the Supreme Court opens the door to sports betting. That's because the house always wins.

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