Sports betting at Monmouth Park delayed until June

Dennis Drazin | Patty Wolfe

Dennis Drazin | Patty Wolfe

In a 6-3 ruling May 14, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a 1992 law that prevented state authorization of sports gambling. More than a dozen other states either have active legislation to authorize sports gambling or have considered it in the past.

The high ruling in Murphy v. NCAA reversed a decision from the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, concluding that the federal Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act violated the Constitution's anti-commandeering principle. The law also enabled Delaware, Montana and OR to have limited legal sports gambling.

Savvy businesspeople are also likely to create new gambling products that aren't specifically addressed by state laws, just as daily fantasy sports companies did while the federal ban was in place.

The head of Monmouth Park Racetrack says that the general public probably won't be able to place bets on sports at the track until June.

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Baishampayan Ghose /FlickrThis week seven members of the Supreme Court agreed that Congress exceeded its powers when it passed a law that prohibited states from legalizing sports betting. Legislators are considering what new rules and regulations are necessary to protect consumers and what role those sovereign nations should play.

"I don't think we're anywhere to close to (quick implementation)", said state Rep. Mike Sanders, R-Kingfisher, who also serves as the House Majority Leader. Still others will undoubtedly follow.

Southern Baptist leaders warned there would be harmful consequences from legalized sports gambling.

Uncertainties do remain. Justice Alito's opinion notes that the decision to legalize sports betting is "an important policy choice" that is not for the Court to make. Further, the Court's invalidation of PASPA does not affect existing federal restrictions on interstate and internet sports betting, including the Federal Wire Act. Nevertheless, the Court's opinion has given the states the green light to authorize intrastate sports betting, and in doing so has opened the states to a multi-billion dollar a year market. As Justice Stephen Breyer put it in his concurring opinion, "the only problem" with the challenged law "lies in its means, not its end".

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