The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) was passed in October 1992. This bill was “An act to prohibit sports gambling under State law and for other purposes.” Now, 26 years later on May 14th, 2018, the Supreme Court has ruled six to three that the law is unconstitutional.
This ruling does not automatically allow sports gambling in every state, but it gives states the power to now offer legal sports betting if they wish to do so. New Jersey will likely be the first to do so seeing as this ruling marks the end of a six month legal battle between New Jersey and major sports leagues such as the NCAA, NBA, NFL, NHL and MLB.
The major sports leagues are in favor of legislation that regulates sports gambling without putting the integrity of the game at risk.
The NFL said in their statement that their: “long-standing and unwavering commitment to protecting the integrity of our game remains absolute,” according to ESPN.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said, “the integrity of our game remains our highest priority,”
MLBPA head Frank Clark said, in favor of betting before it was deemed unconstitutional that decision needed to be made “urgently and thoughtfully to avoid putting our sport’s integrity at risk as states proceed with legislation.”
It’s clear based on these statements that major sports leagues aren’t simply opposed to sports gambling in itself. They are opposed to unregulated sports gambling and how it could potentially get out of hand. All these major sports leagues want is the integrity of their game to remain stable even amidst legal sports gambling in states that choose to enact it.
However, we’ve seen over the past 26 years with Las Vegas as an example, that legal sports gambling can be implemented and the integrity of the game can be kept intact. So if Congress does decide to regulate sports betting on the national level, it would be smart to use Las Vegas as the basis for the laws and go from there.
If done correctly, gambling seems to be a great advancement not only for states, but for major sports teams as well. Gambling could only increase their revenue and, after all, money is what all these sports leagues are after.