Supreme Court Vote to Legalize Sports Betting: How Did the Justices Vote?

This year’s Supreme Court term was one of the most exciting in recent years. For the first time in many years, the justices were able to settle several important cases, one of which was on the legalization of sports betting. The case, Murphy v. National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), pitted the state of North Carolina against the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). North Carolina passed legislation in March 2018 that legalized sports betting, and the NCAA challenged the law in court. On June 12, the Supreme Court issued its opinion, ruling in favor of the state. The opinion, written by Justice Stephen Breyer, stated that the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) was unconstitutional. Many were surprised by the decision, since it went against the wishes of the Trump administration, which had urged the court to uphold the law. However, it was the conservative majority on the Supreme Court, made up of Chief Justice John Roberts, Justice Brett Kavanaugh, and Justice Clarence Thomas, who sided with the government in this case.

Why Does The Supreme Court Protect Sports Betting?

Although the case was resolved in favor of the state, the debate over PASPA and sports betting continued. In fact, shortly after the court’s decision, the NCAA sought a rehearing and asked the justices to reconsider their decision. The reargument session was set for October 2, but on September 25, the court denied the request. The NCAA then decided to continue its campaign against sports betting in other ways. Before the end of the year, the association filed a friend-of-the-court brief in support of New Jersey’s legalization of sports betting. This attempt at intimidation backfired when the court sided with the state in Murphy v. NCAA (2019).

What Is The Difference Between PASPA And The NCAA?

As mentioned above, PASPA is the federal law that regulates sports betting. It was originally passed in 1972 and amended in 1992 and 1994. One of its major provisions is the prohibition of sports betting outside of Nevada. It also restricts the locations where sports betting can be done and the types of bets that can be placed. On the other side, the NCAA is a private organization that primarily consists of universities and colleges. Its stated mission is to develop “men and women of character who will lead ethical lives and make positive contributions to society.” The NCAA is concerned with matters such as controlling gambling, promoting amateurism, and protecting student-athletes. However, it lacks the statutory authority to do any of these things on its own. This is why it needs the assistance of the federal government. Even though PASPA was amended in 2014 to remove its prohibition on states authorizing sports betting, 30 states have passed legislation authorizing some form of legal sports betting, most often limited to professional football and basketball.

How Many States Have Legalized Sports Betting?

To date, 29 states have legalized sports betting, and the number continues to grow. Although it is difficult to track the exact number of illegal sports books and websites because they often operate in stealth mode, it is estimated that there are currently 5 to 10 million illegal bookmakers in the country. This will not be good for business if and when the federal government decides to stop supporting PASPA. In fact, Congress is currently debating whether or not to repeal PASPA. If and when that happens, all bets are off for the illegal bookmakers. Unfortunately, that is something that the industry does not want to experience. As a result, the bookmakers are trying to influence lawmakers in order to keep PASPA in place. It’s a numbers game. The more states that legalize sports betting, the less attractive an environment it becomes for the illegal bookmakers. This is why the industry is so worried about PASPA being repealed. It is also one of the reasons why they have been trying to sway lawmakers in favor of keeping the law.

What Are The Major Issues In The NCAA v. North Carolina Case?

A major issue in the case was whether or not PASPA is constitutional. The law was originally passed under the Nixon administration and amended under the Ford and Clinton administrations. It was last amended in 2014 and has not been updated since then. The federal statute states that no state can legalize sports betting if it is “against the law in any other state.” The NCAA and many of its member schools are based in or adjacent to states where sports betting is illegal, so it argued that this law interfered with their ability to govern themselves. In addition, it argued that the law was an unconstitutional “prior restraint” because it restricted where and how it can promote its athletic programs. The association also maintained that the law was an improper “taking” of its property, as professional and amateur sports are considered property under the Constitution. Finally, the association asserted that the law violated their due process rights because it did not provide for adequate judicial review. The Supreme Court agreed with the NCAA on all counts, ruling that PASPA was unconstitutional and that North Carolina could go forward with its plan to legalize sports betting.

What Does The Supreme Court’s Opinion Mean For The Future Of Sports Betting?

The decision in the sports betting case was unanimous, with the justices agreeing that PASPA was unconstitutional. As a result, federal laws that bar states from legalizing sports betting, such as the Professional Betting and Match-fixing Act (PBMTA), the Internet Gambling Regulation Act (IGRA), and the Illegal Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (IIGEA), are now invalid. This does not mean that states can immediately jump in and start granting licenses to engage in sports betting. It simply means that the federal government cannot stop them from doing so as long as they adhere to the terms of PASPA. This law was initially passed during the Nixon administration and continued to be supported by both the Nixon and Ford cabinets, as well as the Clinton and Bush administrations. Its current form dates back to the George W. Bush administration in 2002. There are currently no plans to amend or update PASPA since it was last amended in 2014. This is why it is now anachronistic and ripe for repeal. All of this is good news for proponents of legal sports betting, but it also means that the fight against online gambling is far from over. More states are jumping on board the legal betting bandwagon each and every day.