US Supreme Court clears path for state-regulated sports betting

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In a potentially momentous day for the global sports betting industry, the Supreme Court of the United States today ruled that the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 – known as PASPA – is unconstitutional, thus freeing states to regulate sports betting.

The Supreme Court ruling in the case of Murphy v National Collegiate Athletic Association, states: “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 has enacted and decide whether it is consistent with the Constitution. PASPA is not.

“PASPA ‘regulates state governments’ regulation’ of their citizens … The Constitution gives Congress no such power. The judgment of the Third Circuit is reversed,” the ruling states.

American Gaming Association president and CEO Geoff Freeman issued the following statement after the announcement: “The court’s ruling on the case today determined that the federal ban on sports betting as established by [PASPA] is unconstitutional, paving the way for the legalisation of sports betting in all 50 states.

“Today’s decision is a victory for the millions of Americans who seek to bet on sports in a safe and regulated manner,” said Freeman.

“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.”