On February 26, the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) handed down a landmark ruling in the case of Murphy v. NCAA that effectively legalized sports betting in the country. The ruling marks an important milestone in US history as it brings relief to millions of Americans who have long been deprived of their right to bet on sporting events as legal casinos and bookies have always been available for those states and territories where sports betting is legal. This has also paved the way for the development of legal betting exchanges, which are now a possibility for US citizens, giving them an opportunity to place legal bets on sporting events with ease.
The SCOTUS ruling in the Murphy case did not directly impact online sports betting, but it did create a legal foundation and a springboard for further progress in the sector. Even before the court decision, Americans overwhelmingly flocked to online sportsbooks to place wagers on games, as the popularity of online betting grew exponentially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Indeed, some reports have suggested that the number of online sports betting accounts grew by more than 300% in the two months after the supreme court ruling.
Given that more and more Americans are turning to the web for their daily sports fix, we decided to dive into the ramifications of the supreme court ruling on online sports betting.
Is The SCOTUS Ruling Good For Online Sports Betting?
The short answer to this question is yes. The SCOTUS ruling in the Murphy case effectively legalized sports betting in the US, so, in theory, any state or territory where sports betting is already legal can now extend the practice to the online sphere.
As a result of this decision, Americans can now access a variety of legal betting opportunities from the comfort of their homes. They can use their smartphones to log on to online betting sites and place wagers on sporting events, professional games, or college/university football and basketball. As long as the sites are legal and operational in the US, the customer will not face any obstacles to accessing their services.
Further, mobile betting apps can now be downloaded and used in jurisdictions where sports betting is legal, removing one of the major barriers to entry for online bettors. American citizens can use these apps to easily and quickly place wagers on their favorite sports and teams. As a result of all this, the SCOTUS ruling on sports betting gives the sector a significant boost and opens up a wide array of opportunities for operators in the sector.
Online Sports Betting And Social Distancing
One of the main concerns that the sports industry and bookmakers had following the SCOTUS ruling was whether or not to allow physical contact between sports bettors and others while remaining within social distancing guidelines. After all, as fans have been forced to adopt a digital persona due to the pandemic, so too can sports bettors and bookmakers seek to conduct business online. Just last month, the NBL issued a reminder to its members that while basketball is back on the court, it is still considered to be one of the ‘essential’ workers during the pandemic and that its athletes must practice physical distancing.
The NBL reminded its members that while the sport is back to its pre-pandemic level, the health and safety of its athletes and fans must be a priority and that they must continue to practice social distancing. This is particularly important for those members who plan to attend games and events in person. Bookmakers will also want to ensure that they continue to abide by all laws and guidelines governing the operation of a legal online betting shop in the country.
Aside from concerns relating to physical distancing, the sports industry and bookmakers had to also consider whether or not to allow live betting given that most fans now have to remain at home. While Americans want their favorite sports and teams, they may not want to bet on them while watching them live. Many bookmakers and bettors now have to consider these factors and weigh up the benefits and drawbacks of live betting versus virtual wagering.
Will The SCOTUS Ruling On Sports Betting Affect International Sports Betting?
Like many other sports betting related news stories, the SCOTUS ruling on sports betting is also set to have a significant impact on the international sector. In particular, the sector had been waiting for the US supreme court to rule on the matter in order to set up shop in some of the more attractive international sports markets. Further details of which countries will now allow for which sports betting activities is still to be determined as the impact of the ruling is still to be felt.
For those countries that do currently have restrictions on sports betting, this will force them to re-evaluate their approach to the practice.
This is all aside from the fact that international bookmakers will now be able to offer their services to a wider audience as a result of the decision, making a significant amount of revenue streams available to them.
In short, the SCOTUS ruling on sports betting is a significant milestone for the US sports industry and for the many Americans who have long been denied the right to bet on their favorite sports teams. The decision allows for greater flexibility for those who want to bet on their favorite teams, giving them an opportunity to do so legally and based on the rules set by the league/organization they are supporting.
However, while the industry can now flourish, there are still a number of legal and regulatory barriers that stand in the way of fully realizing the potential of the SCOTUS ruling on sports betting. These include determining the types of games and sporting events that can be bet on, deciding what rules and regulations should apply to online and virtual betting, and establishing a secure and reliable payment method.
Further reading – Check out the latest news from the world of sports and betting: