The state of New Jersey received a groundbreaking ruling from the Supreme Court on Monday, striking down a federal guideline against sports betting. The removal of the policy may lead several states to legalize sports betting at both the college and professional levels. The court handed down a verdict ruling the federal guideline against sports gambling to be a violation of states rights, because it infringed on state sovereignty without a sufficient reason to do so. The 6-3 decision opens the door for more states to join Nevada in permitting sports betting on individual games across the country.
Federal guidelines to discourage sports betting were put in place by Congress over 25 years ago in hopes to reduce cheating and manipulation of college and professional sports. The policy was deemed unconstitutional this week because it limited the rights of states to make laws without sufficient justification.
Justice Samuel Alito wrote the court’s majority opinion which explained, “Congress can regulate sports gambling directly, but if it elects not to do so, each state is free to act on its own. Our job is to interpret the law Congress enacted and decide whether it is consistent with the Constitution.”
The landmark decision opens the floodgates for states to determine their own laws and possibly begin sports betting in casinos, racetracks, and other venues. Supporters suggest that the decision represents a win for state’s rights and opens up a massive revenue stream for state governments. Opponents of the decision worry that sports betting in college and professional sports will now be susceptible to the corruption that federal guidelines originally aimed to prevent. Both parties will have to wait and see as states draft new laws over the next 2 to 5 years about the future of sports betting in America.