Hear ye, hear ye! You are no longer a badass, underground gambler, fantasy leaguer. On Monday, May 14, the Supreme Court struck down the federal ban on sports betting. The court instead gave states the power to legalize or ban sports betting.
Many an office betting pool has operated in a gray or outright illegal manner. Nobody really cared, though, and sports betting remained a popular part of watercooler chat for sports lovers, illegal as it often was. With the Supreme Court lifting the ban, it means sports betting will soon be legalized in several states.
What legalization means for you, you rebel
Some states, like New Jersey and California, are fast tracking legislation to legalize sports betting in their states. You might think, “Woohoo! That’s so nice of them!” but the state governments have their incentive.
This year’s March Madness alone had nearly $10 billion of illegal gambling going down. Don’t you think Uncle Sam wants a slice of that pie? By legalizing sports gambling, the state government is able to levy taxes, which is their favorite thing to do. Government officials are also under pressure to legalize from casinos and online betting companies, which benefit tremendously from legalization.
So what does this mean for you, the previously rebellious, bet-happy badass?
First, you’re likely still breaking the law, especially if you live in a state that has no intention of lifting the sports betting ban. Does that mean you could bet with an online company based in a state where it’s legal? Maybe; we’re not sure. The lifted ban means more legal gray areas just opened up concerning online sports betting. Be careful when you do bet.
Second, if you’re in a state where sports betting will be legalized, congrats! It officially means you’ll be paying more in taxes and fees. But at least you’ll be on the up and up, you know?
Third, it’s going to be interesting to see what the NBA, NFL, NHL, MLB, and NCAA say about this. In the past they’ve taken a stance against sports betting, which they say cheapens the integrity of sports. But let’s remember that sports betting tremendously increases game viewership. Without the billions of dollars spent on sports betting, professional leagues might have grim viewer ratings. With legalized sports betting, we can predict game viewership will continue to increase.
The bottom line
This is an exciting time for sports lovers. Although there will be some legal headaches for states seeking legalization, it’s great news for people who want to stay on the up and up for sports betting. Sorry, that does mean you have to find a new way to be a badass.