SCOTUS Sports Betting Decision Reactions Pour In
Now more than 24 hours since the United States Supreme Court ruled for New Jersey in the famous sports betting case, reactions are everywhere. Every facet of the gaming industry has responded, along with sports leagues, state governments, and even members of Congress.
The happiest of them all, however, is New Jersey. The Senate Majority Office and the Sports & Exposition Authority recently reported that the state received a bill for more than $8.7 million for work on the case. But the payoff was going to be worth it, as Oxford Economics estimated that a legal sports betting industry in New Jersey would generate more than $173 million in tax revenue and create more than 3,633 jobs.
A great day for the rights of states and their people to make their own decisions. New Jersey citizens wanted sports gambling and the federal Gov't had no right to tell them no. The Supreme Court agrees with us today. I am proud to have fought for the rights of the people of NJ.
— Governor Christie (@GovChristie) May 14, 2018
Today the Supreme Court sided with New Jersey in striking down the arbitrary federal ban on sports betting.
Today’s ruling will finally allow authorized New Jersey facilities to take the same bets that are legal in other states.
— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) May 14, 2018
Online Poker Industry Response
In the broadest sense, many in the gambling industry believe – or want to believe – that the SCOTUS ruling will have positive ramifications for online poker.
True. However, the appetite for states to regulate sports wagering (which inevitably will include internet/mobile platforms) rises the tide for those states to also consider iPoker. https://t.co/OATwR4LcL7
— PokerPlayersAlliance (@ppapoker) May 14, 2018
The Poker Players Alliance was one of the first to respond positively to the decision. Of course, the PPA has long been dedicated to poker and only more recently other forms of online gambling, but the nonprofit group also recently floated the idea of broadening its lobbying scope to add sports betting to its repertoire. With that in mind but no decision having been announced, the PPA issued a press release.
PPA President Rich Muny said, “This is a great decision for consumers who for years have had no alternative to wager on sports other than the black market. It presents states with the perfect opportunity to establish sensible policies not only to regulate sports wagering, but also other forms of gaming, including internet poker. Whether you are betting on sports or playing poker, lawmakers must make it a priority to protect customers. The states that have already regulated internet poker have proven that it can be done in a way the benefits consumers and governments. It makes sense for states that are eyeing sports betting to also realize the benefit of regulated iPoker and iGaming.”
Muny then added, “Today marks an important date for the future of gaming in the United States. The future of sports betting will continue to rely on internet and mobile technologies, and this is also true for all gaming. Now more than ever, states should take control of unregulated internet poker and sports betting and create systems that protect adult consumers and provide governments with new streams of revenue.”
Several well-known members of the poker community also chimed in, such as Phil Hellmuth:
Every Major sport (NBA, NFL, MLB) is behind the legalization of sports betting, and all of them will profit by it. But how can Sports Betting online be legalized w/out online poker being legalized (clearly more skill than sports betting)? The time is NOW to legalize online poker!
— phil_hellmuth (@phil_hellmuth) May 14, 2018
And poker writer, businessman, and enthusiast Robbie Strazynski was excited:
I've never placed a sports bet, but SCOTUS giving the go-ahead for states to legalize sports betting is massive news that makes me very happy. So cool to see this on the front page of @espn.
I'd bet HEAVILY that many states will move forward with online poker legislation now. pic.twitter.com/pWOUSMkwFu
— Robbie Strazynski (@cardplayerlife) May 14, 2018
iDEA (iDevelopment and Economic Assocation) founding member Jeff Ifrah was also quick to weigh in. Not only is his invested in the interactive online entertainment industry, his law firm submitted an amicus brief to SCOTUS regarding the case. He called the decision a jackpot for the entire gaming industry and went on to say, “Now entertainment companies formerly driven to offshore locations due to the strict limitations of the PASPA can return to the US, bringing jobs and economic opportunities with them. States like Illinois, Michigan and New York, which have been waiting for this opportunity, may now implement pro-business measures to encourage gaming and create the benefits like increased tax revenue that previously only a handful of states were permitted to enjoy. This ruling will create a positive domino effect by allowing any state that wants to, to open its doors and reap the benefits of rationally regulated gaming.”
Sports World Responds
Many athletes did not respond to the sports betting decision, but others in the industry were mostly positive in their takes.
Today the Supreme Court ruled PASPA unconstitutional, opening the door for fully legalized sports betting from your home, business & especially sports venues. To the Supreme Court I say pic.twitter.com/gAzOld0FeF
— Warren Sharp (@SharpFootball) May 14, 2018
Mark Cuban had quite a bit to say in support of the new industry as well, having long predicted that it was inevitable:
And of course, the losing party in the case, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), released a statement upon the announcement of the decision. NCAA Chief Legal Officer Donald Remy said, “Today the United States Supreme Court issued a clear decision that PASPA is unconstitutional, reversing the lower courts that held otherwise. While we are still reviewing the decision to understand the overall implications to college sports, we will adjust sports wagering and championship policies to align with the direction from the court.”
Congress Weighs In
It only took a few hours from the time of the SCOTUS announcement for the first Congressman to speak up in opposition. Republican Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah revealed that he will introduce a bill to officially regulate all sports betting. “At stake here is the very integrity of sports,” he said. “That’s why I plan to introduce legislation in the coming weeks to help protect honesty and principle in the athletic arena.”
Hatch was one of the original authors of PASPA, the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, that was overturned by the Supreme Court. He seems to understand that a ban is not feasible at this point, but the internet aspect of the new industry is what worries him. “We cannot allow this practice to proliferate amid uneven enforcement and a patchwork race to the regulatory bottom.”
Many industry experts believe, however, that a federal regulatory framework will not work; state-level regulation is already in progress and more preferable to most.
Can't imagine this has any better than a snowball's chance in hell. https://t.co/qilOyS1afK
— michelleminton (@michelleminton) May 14, 2018
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