Sports Betting

Monika Wisniewska | Dreamstime.com

Sports Leagues React To Supreme Court Ruling On Sports Betting

May 14, 2018 - 1:00 pm
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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Monday gave its go-ahead for states to allow gambling on sports across the nation, striking down a federal law that barred betting on football, basketball, baseball and other sports in most states.

The justices voted 6-3 to strike down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, a 1992 law that forbade state-authorized sports gambling with some exceptions. It made Nevada the only state where a person could wager on the results of a single game.

Concerned that questions will be raised at some point that betting could affect teams' performance and the outcome of games, all four major U.S. professional sports leagues, the NCAA and the federal government had urged the court to uphold the federal law. In court, the NBA, NFL, NHL and Major League Baseball had argued that New Jersey's gambling expansion would hurt the integrity of their games. Outside court, however, leaders of all but the NFL have shown varying degrees of openness to legalized sports gambling.

On Monday, Major League Baseball issued a statement saying the Supreme Court ruling would have "profound effects" on the league and that it would "continue to seek the proper protections for our sport."

NBA commissioner Adam Silver says the pro basketball league remains in favor "of a federal framework that would provide a uniform approach to sports gambling in states that choose to permit it." He said that "regardless of the particulars of any future sports betting law, the integrity of our game remains our highest priority."

The NFL says they plan on asking Congress "to enact a core regulatory framework for legalized sports betting" following the ruling.

In its statement, the NFL noted that "Congress has long recognized the potential harms posed by sports betting to the integrity of sporting contests and the public confidence in these events."

The NFL also said it will work closely with teams to ensure that any state proposals "protect our fans and the integrity of our game."

Representatives of the National Hockey League had no immediate comment on the ruling, saying they were analyzing it.

The NCAA's chief legal officer said the organization is still reviewing the court's decision but added that it "will adjust sports wagering and championship policies to align with the direction from the court."

The PGA Tour restated its support of sports gambling following the ruling. The tour's position is similar to the NBA and Major League Baseball on gambling issues and it says it will continue to work with state legislators and regulators.

The tour last year established a program that requires players on all six circuits the PGA Tour manages to take part in an online tutorial that, among other things, illustrates some of the far-reaching effects of gambling.

"We believe that regulation is the most effective way of ensuring integrity in competition, protecting consumers, engaging fans and generating revenue for government, operators and leagues," the tour said in a statement.

Daily fantasy sports operator DraftKings says it's poised to enter the sports-betting market.

The Boston-based company said Monday it had been preparing to launch a sports betting platform and apply for state operating licenses ever since the high court announced it would take up the case.

DraftKings chief executive Jason Robbins says he expects several states to formally legalize sports betting before the start of the NFL season in September.

Robbins says DraftKings will push for regulations in those states that put "smart consumer protections" in place but aren't overly restrictive.

He says the company is well-positioned to enter the market because of its experience with offering daily fantasy sports games.