Sports Betting and SCOTUS. What it all means and what’s next?
This week’s headlines heralded the end of the federal ban on sports betting as established by the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA).
It’s certainly good news on the surface, but does it mean that you can bet on the game tonight? Hardly.
First, let’s look closer at what was decided by the US Supreme Court. Contrary to what many took from the bold words across their newsfeeds, this was NOT a decision to allow sports betting across the country. Specifically, yesterday’s decision was the striking down of the 1992 act that made it unlawful from the federal government’s perspective. Still squinting to find out where and when you can bet on your local team? The answer is… it now depends. This ruling gives states the right to allow or not allow sports betting per their own rules and regulations but doesn’t make betting on sports any more legal than it was the day before.
The implications for the industry? Gargantuan. One estimate from Eilers & Krejcik Gaming, LLC, a research firm focused on the gaming industry, puts the annual gambling revenue for legal sports betting is as high as 6 billion dollars in the US.
In an interview on CNN, DraftKings CEO Jason Robins stated, “It will be a state by state rollout and there will be about a half dozen or so that will try to get in for this NFL season.” He went on to quote more figures that help frame the potential impact, “About 150 billion is estimated to be bet each year illegally on the US black market, mostly through offshore bookies and websites and mobile apps. So, the more states that legalize it, the more that will come over into the light.”
In an industry conference call with the American Gaming Association, President and CEO Geoff Freeman framed the ruling and answered some interesting questions from listeners. Below are just a few highlights:
- New Jersey will try to move to legalize sports betting in weeks for the NBA finals.
- Mississippi, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and New York introduced sports betting legislation this year, more to follow with varied timetables.
- In the opinion of the AGA, this should be the fastest/largest spread of gaming ever.
- The AGA wants to help professional leagues become partners to the industry across speed to market, consistency and integrity.
- Does this impact territories? Puerto Rico? On page 30 of the decision the entire statute has been struck down… this SHOULD mean that it’s no longer in play in territories and commonwealths.
- How do you see this in CA/tribes/cardrooms/racetracks? It’s a complicated issue with tremendous upsides. The AGA is very involved helping find common ground and assisting stakeholders in realizing the amazing potential behind this decision.
Stay tuned for more on this decision and reach out to BMM Testlabs, the world’s leader in sports book testing for impact and insight into your jurisdiction as well as to find out why 4 out of 5 U.S sports betting companies have chosen BMM to test their systems.