Supreme Court Overturns Sports Betting Ban

Supreme Court Overturns Sports Betting Ban

In what probably constitutes the biggest piece of legislative news in months, the US Supreme Court announced that is has overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), and effectively lifted the ban on sports betting across the entire United States.

This was initiated on Monday after the court ruled in favor of New Jersey’s bid to overturn this act (the state legalized sports betting within its borders). The Atlantic City hub kept appealing despite losing in federal court on multiple occasions. The court ruled in favor of the state with a 6-3 vote.

PASPA was putting a ban on regulated sports betting across all states except Nevada, Oregon, Delaware and Montana. This move will end Nevada’s reign and monopoly on sports betting in the US and will create a wider market. As an immediate aftermath of this, Paddy Power Betfair, Caesars and William Hill’s share prices all rose by more than 6%. NBA, MLB and PGA Tour are just some of the sporting leagues and organizations who were appealing for the expanded and regulated sports betting market.

The American Gaming Association published an official statement saying: “Today’s decision is a victory for the millions of Americans who seek to bet on sports in a safe and regulated manner. According to a Washington Post survey, a solid 55 percent of Americans believe it’s time to end the federal ban on sports betting. 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. The AGA stands ready to work with all stakeholders – states, tribes, sports leagues, and law enforcement – to create a new regulatory environment that capitalizes on this opportunity to engage fans and boost local economies”

Justice Samuel Alito from New Jersey, who wrote the court’s opinion in the case, stated: “The legislative powers granted to Congress are sizable, but they are not unlimited. The Constitution confers on Congress not plenary legislative power but only certain enumerated powers. Therefore, all other legislative power is reserved for the States, as the Tenth Amendment confirms.”

He added: “The legalization of sports gambling requires an important policy choice, but the choice is not ours to make. 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 “regulate[s] state governments’ regulation” of their citizens, New York, 505 U. S., at 166. The Constitution gives Congress no such power. The judgment of the Third Circuit is reversed.”


“US ruling opens way for states-wide sports betting”,, May 14, 2018.