Sandoval: Supreme Court sports betting ruling ‘good for Nevada’ |

Sandoval: Supreme Court sports betting ruling ‘good for Nevada’

Staff and wire reports
The Atlantic Casino Resort in Reno is among many casinos in Nevada that have for years offered legal sports betting.
Courtesy Vance Fox Photography

The Supreme Court on Monday gave its go-ahead for states to allow gambling on sports across the nation, striking down a federal law that barred betting on football, basketball, baseball and other sports in most states.

According to the Associated Press, the justices voted 6-3 to strike down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, a 1992 law that forbade state-authorized sports gambling with some exceptions. It made Nevada the only state where a person could wager on the results of a single game.

Many states have hoped their cut of legalized sports gambling could help solve budget problems. Stock prices for casino operators and equipment makers surged after the ruling was announced.

The ruling, in a case from New Jersey, creates an opening to bring an activity out of the shadows that many Americans already see as a mainstream hobby.

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval said Monday he supports the ruling.

“I was supportive of New Jersey’s position,” he said. “The reality is people are betting illegally on the Internet. It’s good for Nevada, good for bettors and good for sports.”

Additionally, the Nevada Gaming Control Board issued a statement saying it supports the ruling. The statement says Nevada has regulated sports betting for decades and, “has proven that our model is not only successful but stands the test of time.”

The statement says Nevada regulators look forward to acting as a resource for other states as they develop their own regulatory scheme for sports betting.

According to the AP, the American Gaming Association estimates that Americans illegally wager about $150 billion on sports each year, and one research firm estimated before the ruling that if the Supreme Court were to strike down the law, 32 states would likely offer sports betting within five years.

More than a dozen states had supported New Jersey in its efforts over the years to legalize sports betting. State leaders argued that Congress exceeded its authority when it passed its law more than 20 years ago.

New Jersey said the Constitution allows Congress to pass laws barring wagering on sports, but Congress can’t require states to keep sports gambling prohibitions in place.

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