U.S. ruling opens way for states-wide sports betting

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Trump's administration was on the opposite side of the case, opposing the New Jersey law championed by Christie.

On Monday, the Supreme Court ruled that the federal ban on sports betting was unconstitutional, opening up a huge potential market for New Jersey and beyond.

"The legalization of sports gambling requires an important policy choice, but the choice is not ours to make", Justice Samuel Alito wrote in the 6-3 opinion.

"The question now is whether Congress will leave the states to make their own choices or will now try to enact some kind of federal regulation of sports betting", Vladeck added.

"Our job is to interpret the law Congress has enacted and decide whether it is consistent with the Constitution", the court said in its decision. Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor dissented, USA Today reported. Breyer agreed with the majority of the court that part of the law must be struck down but said that should not have doomed the rest of the law.

All four major US professional sports leagues, the NCAA and the federal government had urged the court to uphold the federal law.

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Major American sports leagues - including the NFL, NBA and the MLB - offered cautious reaction to the news, saying they would take steps to protect the integrity of the games and called for regulatory framework. Fantasy sports leagues amount to "thinly veiled gambling", as ESPN's Rob King told Berliner, and have helped push sports betting into the mainstream. He said that "regardless of the particulars of any future sports betting law, the integrity of our game remains our highest priority". It has already reserved a space for a sports betting lounge if it is legalized.

Meanwhile, the sports betting decision could have implications for a wide range of other state laws - including those legalizing marijuana, Nina noted. It wasn't until December of 2017 that the court began to hear the case.

While programs now exist to educate student-athletes about the dangers of sports betting and attempts to fix games, those will likely have to be beefed up in order to combat heightened awareness and advertising that is sure to follow the approval of single-game betting.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf's spokesman says the new revenue from sports betting will be good for the state's budget, which has struggled through persistent deficits since the recession.

Gaming industry experts have predicted that many states, including California, would authorize betting on sports if given a chance to do so. "It's been a long time coming", he said. It gave the other states one year to legalize such betting, if they wanted to.

Though the National Basketball Association and MLB supported legal sports betting, Fortune called today's decision "a setback for professional sports leagues". PASPA prohibited advertisements for sports betting, but that provision will also be struck down. "It does so apparently in the mistaken assumption that private sports-gambling schemes would become lawful in the wake of its decision".

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