For almost thirty years, there has been only one hub for betting on sports in America: Las Vegas, Nevada. The law prohibiting sports betting, called The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, made it illegal for states to allow betting on athletics. In 1992, Nevada was granted a special status and became the nation’s capitol for betting on sports. But that monopoly is coming to an end.
Many people felt the ban restricted states rights and are thrilled to see it go. Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was among the crowd who praised the new ruling. He said on Twitter that the ruling was a positive outcome not only for the citizens of New Jersey but for states rights overall. The federal government will no longer control gambling at the state level. According to Christie, his former constituents have wanted sports gambling in their state and now they will have it.
Christie is not alone in his enthusiasm. The current governor of New Jersey, Phil Murphy, was equally excited, saying that he will begin work with lawmakers to get a system for sports gambling up and running for the citizens of New Jersey.
Controversy Over The New Law
While many sports fans are happy to see betting finally allowed across the country, others are not so sure it’s a good thing. Gambling is a highly addictive activity so of course there are many opinions surrounding it. On the one hand it can become a debilitating habit. On the other, why should adults be constricted from spending their money how they choose?
Gambling of all kinds, legal and illegal has been around for years. Some would argue that betting while okay in some situations should have no place in sports. Well, as it turns out, sports betting is a multi-billion dollar a year industry.
According to Ex-Governor Christie, Americans all over the country combine to spend almost 150 billion dollars on illegal sports betting. So apparently the law against betting has not had the intended affect. NBC reports that a likely 10 billions dollars were spent on betting during this years Men’s March Madness tournament. And how much of that was legal? About three percent. So with lots of people betting legally through Las Vegas, it appears that many more are doing so illegally through various means.
What Will Legal Sports Betting Look Like?
It is likely that betting of sporting events will look different in every state. It is not certain that every state will even allow it. After all, the ban has been lifted but it remains to be seen how each individual state will react.
According to NBC, New Jersey will only allow certain types of sports betting. The minimum age to place a bet will be twenty-one. And folks over this age will only be able to place a wager at racetracks and casinos.
So at least in New Jersey, it appears that the recent ruling will not change the landscape of gambling all that much. Adults of a certain age will be able to gamble in the places that they were before. The only difference now is that sporting events can be part of the gambler’s array of options.
Major Benefits Of Overturning The Ban
Billions of dollars are spent every year on sports betting. But because much of that money is spent illegally, is it not taxed. This means that states are losing out on potentially huge sums of tax revenue. And in turn, the average citizen misses out on what the extra funding could provide.
There is also speculation that there are links between organized crime and sports gambling. Making betting legal will not only bring in money for the states but it will take that money out of the hands of gangsters. Most of us can agree that bringing in money for state governments instead of losing it to the black market can only be a good thing.
A Logical Decision For The Court
Many will say that this decision is long overdue. Many kinds of betting are legal so why not sports? People have been betting illegally on sports for years and now many websites like FanDuel allow fans to place bets on the performances of individual players. Although this has been ruled to be a skilled activity and thus not considered gambling, it is certainly in the same vein.
So it is no surprise that sports betting is now legal. It is yet to be seen whether we will see an increase in betting or it will stay the same. But for sports fans inclined to games of chance, the nation just got a little bit freer.