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Supreme Court Ruling Favors Sports Betting

Supreme Court Ruling Favors Sports Betting

As the casino industry hoped and many expected, the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday struck down the federal law that said sports betting is legal only in Nevada and a handful of other states with grandfather status.

This clearly is a huge development as it pertains to the National Football League, one of the most heavily bet American sports - previously both legally in places such as Las Vegas and illegally.

Mississippi Legislators already passed a law in 2017 legalizing sports betting at casinos if it is legal in the United States, which means Mississippi could be one of the first states to get in the game and offer sports betting. Nevada was exempted from the law, and three other states - Montana, Delaware, and OR - that had already enacted sports lotteries were allowed to continue to do so. Congress can regulate sports gambling directly, but if it elects not to do so, each state is free to act on its own.

All four major US professional sports leagues, the NCAA and the federal government had urged the court to uphold the federal law.

Monday morning's decision was the result of Murphy, Governor of New Jersey et al. v.

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Mississippi - Gaming Commission Deputy Director Jay McDaniel has previously stated that the state would need a few months to propose regulations and have them approved following a Supreme Court decision, but that implementation before the end of 2018 would be feasible.

"The majority relied upon the "anti-commandeering" doctrine, holding that Congress can choose federal policies, but can't dictate to states what their own policies must be", Vladeck said.

Freeman said his group would work with states, sports leagues and law enforcement "to create a new regulatory environment that capitalizes on this opportunity to engage fans and boost local economies".

New Jersey is naturally the state most prepared to implement sports betting in the wake of the decision.

Lawyers for the leagues responded that the federal law does not run afoul of the Constitution because it doesn't force the states to take any action or become a part of any federal regulatory scheme. In court, the NBA, NFL, NHL and Major League Baseball had argued that New Jersey's gambling expansion would hurt the integrity of their games.