Skip to content

Supreme Court could remove federal ban to sports wagering

Getty Images

At a time when Congress has launched an effort to scrap a 1992 law that prevents most states from legalizing wagering on sports, another branch of the government could get the job done more quickly.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear a case that challenges the federal prohibition on expanded betting on sporting events. The case, arising from efforts by New Jersey to enact sports wagering, will be presented as early as October 2017, with a decision coming in the weeks or months thereafter.

While the decision doesn’t mean New Jersey will win, it’s an encouraging sign. New Jersey had lost at every step of the process, and a decision by the Supreme Court not to hear the case would have ended it with an “L” for pro-gambling interests. A victory remains possible, and some will predict that the current makeup of the Supreme Court points to a win.

The argument against the law flows from the notion that states should be permitted to decide whether to allow gambling on sports. The 1992 law was written in a way that allowed places like Nevada to continue to permit sports wagering, forbidding other states who didn’t already allow this form of gambling to join in.

The development puts the NFL in an awkward spot. At a time when it has embraced Las Vegas by allowing the Raiders to eventually move there, many think the league also secretly longs for the day when fans can play the odds via NFL.com and/or each of the various team websites, with the league acting as the bookie at most, middleman at a minimum, for widespread wagering. To get there, federal law first must change, and then the states must embrace betting, one by one.

The NFL had no comment on the news of a new effort in Congress to scrap the federal law prohibiting sports wagering. PFT has submitted a request for comment to the league regarding the Supreme Court’s decision, which on the surface will be met with a profane muttering of frustration but which at a deeper level could prompt a profane shout of joy, thanks to the many billions the league will earn every year if/when it can finally get a piece of all of the money that currently changes hands illegally by people who bet on sports, regardless of what the law allows.

Permalink 43 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Oakland Raiders, Rumor Mill, Top Stories
43 Responses to “Supreme Court could remove federal ban to sports wagering”
  1. scoops1 says: Jun 27, 2017 11:54 AM

    Biff Tannen…i mean Donald Trump would love this

  2. topcide says: Jun 27, 2017 12:18 PM

    I live in Michigan. Casino Windsor is literally visible from All 3 of the current stadiums where the teams play in Downtown Detroit.

    Casino Windsor has a sports book.

    You can literally be across the border to Canada, place a bet, and be back over to the USA in an hour if there is not a bunch of traffic at the border.

    There is no logical reason to not be able to do that at the 3 casinos that are in Detroit.

  3. tylawspick6 says: Jun 27, 2017 12:20 PM

    Welcome to the Baseball HOF, Pete Rose. Long overdue.

  4. ravenmadnky says: Jun 27, 2017 12:29 PM

    Pete Rose chose the wrong sport.

  5. silvernblacksabbath says: Jun 27, 2017 12:35 PM

    Vegas won’t allow it! I’ll stick with my off shore betting…

  6. i thumbs down your comment says: Jun 27, 2017 12:47 PM

    Welcome to the NFL version of WWE

  7. bannedfromchoirpractice says: Jun 27, 2017 12:55 PM

    Even so, most states would only offer a lottery form of betting that shovels massive juice into their own coffers and provides the bettor a no-win proposition.

  8. screwmemean says: Jun 27, 2017 12:58 PM

    99% of people that gamble and bet are chronic losers. I work hard for my money and spend it wisely.

  9. dumbaseinstien says: Jun 27, 2017 1:05 PM

    This should be determined by each State. Vegas Mob monopoly influences are the only reason the original law ever passed. There is no reason one State should have a right to offer products that every other state is banned from offering. That is as clear as any Constitutional question.

  10. drunkraider says: Jun 27, 2017 1:13 PM

    Dont you just love how a bunch of rich people make up laws for us poor folk. the same laws that dont apply to them.

  11. bannedfromchoirpractice says: Jun 27, 2017 1:20 PM

    —————————————————
    screwmemean says:
    Jun 27, 2017 12:58 PM
    99% of people that gamble and bet are chronic losers. I work hard for my money and spend it wisely.
    —————————————————
    I’d bet (a lot) that you’ve never been accused of being the “life of the party.”

  12. richardernsberger says: Jun 27, 2017 1:20 PM

    The NFL wants to become a bookie for NFL games? Yea, THAT’s a smart idea. Please. Let’s ratchet up the corruption in sports and America tenfold or so–this is the Trump administration, after all. Mob president.

  13. finnymcphin says: Jun 27, 2017 1:22 PM

    bannedfromchoirpractice says:
    Jun 27, 2017 12:55 PM
    Even so, most states would only offer a lottery form of betting that shovels massive juice into their own coffers and provides the bettor a no-win proposition.
    ——————————————-

    You are half right. Many states would probably opt for allowing wagering through their lottery systems but a correct bet would hardly be a losing proposition and money from wagering going back to cities and towns is far sight better than where it is going now.

  14. bannedfromchoirpractice says: Jun 27, 2017 1:29 PM

    ————————————————————-
    finnymcphin says:
    Jun 27, 2017 1:22 PM

    You are half right. Many states would probably opt for allowing wagering through their lottery systems but a correct bet would hardly be a losing proposition and money from wagering going back to cities and towns is far sight better than where it is going now.
    ————————————————————-

    You should be okay, then, since your bets are mostly correct.

  15. araidersfan says: Jun 27, 2017 1:43 PM

    There’s no reason why both gambling and prostitution shouldn’t be legalized. People do it anyway and it is permitted in those countries where the government doesn’t feel the need to legislate personal morality.

  16. maddog111 says: Jun 27, 2017 1:45 PM

    screwmemean says:
    Jun 27, 2017 12:58 PM

    99% of people that gamble and bet are chronic losers. I work hard for my money and spend it wisely.
    —————————————
    And we’re all very impressed.

  17. Slow Joe (Bucs fan) says: Jun 27, 2017 2:01 PM

    I’m taking bets on whether the 1992 law is repealed. 3-1 odds.

  18. harrisonhits2 says: Jun 27, 2017 2:05 PM

    This is a simple binary solution from the NFL standpoint.

    Do we get a piece of the money?

    Yes = gambling is excellent and we embrace it !!!!!!!! (see daily fantasy gambling sites)

    No = gambling is bad and could result in corruption if players gamble, we don’t want it !

  19. charger383 says: Jun 27, 2017 2:08 PM

    People will bet, smoke dope, drink moonshine, drive fast, pay prostitutes ect ect no matter what the law says

  20. factschecker says: Jun 27, 2017 2:09 PM

    Even so, most states would only offer a lottery form of betting that shovels massive juice into their own coffers and provides the bettor a no-win proposition.
    ———-
    You have to win apx 80% of your bets to stay profitable if all the bets are of equal amounts. (The house gets their 10% win or lose)

    I’m not saying yeah or neigh as much as providing context from an experienced (mostly former) gambler. Now that I’ve gotten older I prefer to have to go all the way to Vegas for a week of gambling. I’m not sure if I want that temptation that close to home? I could see some potential danger in making it too easy and convenient that one could do it from anywhere at any time.

  21. PFT on CTV Vancouver. says: Jun 27, 2017 2:15 PM

    Here in Abbotsford BC Canada I am a 6 minute drive from Washington State and The Seahawk Nation.

    I can wager on the NFL

    However, I can not wager a single game. Minimum bet is A TWO GAME PARLAY.

    It is possible to fix one game.

    A two game parlay makes it way too difficult for shaky characters to fix an outcome.

  22. bobthebillsfan says: Jun 27, 2017 2:22 PM

    I’ll bet some people will be happy with the ruling and some will not be. What do the odds makers say?

  23. electricboogalo says: Jun 27, 2017 2:40 PM

    charger383 says:
    Jun 27, 2017 2:08 PM

    People will bet, smoke dope, drink moonshine, drive fast, pay prostitutes ect ect no matter what the law says
    ———————————————————-
    We should hang out.

  24. jagmankane says: Jun 27, 2017 2:54 PM

    Then the NFL will have every reason to try to fix more games. lulz

  25. 6250claimer says: Jun 27, 2017 2:56 PM

    topcide says:
    There is no logical reason to not be able to do that at the 3 casinos that are in Detroit.
    *******
    Ever seen the TV show “Hardcore Pawn”, taped in Detroit? That dude will have to open 8 more branches and they’ll be overflowing into the parking lots if sports betting were legal in Detroit.

  26. strummer174 says: Jun 27, 2017 3:17 PM

    I’m just thinking this through as I type…

    Seems to me the problems with gambling are the violence committed by bookies who don’t get paid, the staggering personal losses suffered by people with gambling addictions, and the potential for tainting the game by having players take dives.

    If the states themselves or the league are the bookies, there’s no risk of accepting bets on unestablished credit (i.e., you can’t make a $10,000 bet if you don’t have $10,000), which probably satisfies the first two problems. Regarding the potential for players taking dives…eh. They’re rich enough as it is, and I doubt you could get away with that today, given how sophisticated media and metrics have become.

    This sounds a lot to me like the prohibition on alcohol…outlawing it doesn’t stop people from doing it. It just pushes it underground where the bad guys are in control. Legalize it, and it will be much easier to keep a leash on it.

  27. magikskillz says: Jun 27, 2017 3:30 PM

    This is a complete joke. Seriously Sports Gambling should have always been legal. Have you guys ever heard of The Lottery? It is the exact same concept. In both cases you wager you money with very slim chances of winning a big sum. And to make matters worse, the Lottery is advertised daily on basic cable here in New York State. That’s right the state is encouraging its own citizens and residents to gamble their hard earned money. Personally I am against the act of gambling because it is a waste of money. However, if a person truly wants to gamble their money they should have every legal right to do so. The only caveat is that the gambler must take full responsibility for all consequences.

  28. eagleslayer says: Jun 27, 2017 3:31 PM

    Losers who lay down 50$ on lotto every friday at the 7/11…

    Yeah, you’re gonna be rich….

  29. pleasantsurpriselefty says: Jun 27, 2017 3:43 PM

    Two entities are going to rule the world: NFL and Amazon. Supreme Court will find it hard to allow state lotteries but no sports betting

  30. factschecker says: Jun 27, 2017 3:53 PM

    You allow sports gambling into football fan will be quick to call a game fixed (Like the past few super bowls)

    It’s one thing to be emotionally attached to a team but everyone is emotionally attached to their money. Ultimately people believe their emotions over anything factual. Could ruin the NFL’s already shaky foundation.

  31. bosszaraki says: Jun 27, 2017 3:55 PM

    Betting on games=problem. Betting on which player will do good each week=ok lol hmmmmm… fantasy football is ok but I can’t play poker online wtf

  32. nyneal says: Jun 27, 2017 4:45 PM

    Oh boy! The Raiders will really love moving to Vegas now!!

    This is a joke anyway. I’ve been playing football tickets every season for probably 40 years. I do it for fun and if I win a few shekels at the end of the season, it’s even more fun. If I don’t, it’s still fun.

    The NFL knows fully well they’ve been making millions from the gambling that goes on, for years. It gets people who couldn’t care less about football into the sport, big time.

    This country is breaking down all the rules and laws which once had to do with values, so it’s not a surprise at all that the Supreme Court is hearing this case. It will shock me if this suit is dismissed.

  33. exinsidetrader says: Jun 27, 2017 5:02 PM

    drunkraider says:
    Jun 27, 2017 1:13 PM

    Dont you just love how a bunch of rich people make up laws for us poor folk. the same laws that dont apply to them.
    ____________
    For the longest time, Congress exempted itself from laws against Inside Trading and currently is still exempted from having to be part of ObamaCare.

    End professional politicians: Two terms and you’re done and the pay is $50K/year plus a ticket to a Redskins’ game because you are going to serve not get rich or make a career.

  34. whodat5150 says: Jun 27, 2017 5:11 PM

    You can bet on soccer games in England and other European countries. Do you hear any of screams about those games being fixed?

    You’d have to have several players and ultimately a coach on the take, to fix a game. Even though many players make bad financial decisions, many are multimillionaires. How much can you offer a multimillionaire to fix a game? If they’re on a first contract that didn’t pay a lot, they’re hoping to get paid on the next one. How many MILLIONS are you going give them to throw a game and mess up the potential multimillion dollars payday? Second, how would the player justify getting that payoff money? The profit margin for the casinos to even attempt to fix games is not great enough to make it worth while. The league gets most of their money from the TV contracts which pays them BILLIONS. EVERY business wants to maximize their profits. But what would happen to the advertisers, who fuel the billion dollar TV contracts, if they even THOUGHT games were being fixed? I don’t see those MULTIBILLIONAIRE owners sacrificing the TV contracts, to make a few millions by fixing games.

  35. poguemahonepft says: Jun 27, 2017 5:30 PM

    what? with a team in Las Vegas? Shocking…

  36. agent7x6 says: Jun 27, 2017 5:35 PM

    Is there a sports page (website) in the US that refrains from printing the lines for NFL games? Everyone with the slightest amount of knowledge of the sport is aware that betting has long been a very large part of the NFL’s popularity.

  37. mmack66 says: Jun 27, 2017 5:51 PM

    whodat5150 says:
    Jun 27, 2017 5:11 PM

    I don’t see those MULTIBILLIONAIRE owners sacrificing the TV contracts, to make a few millions by fixing games.
    ———————–

    The NFL lied to the entire country, simply because one team was more successful than the rest. These people would steal money out of a beggar’s cup if they thought no one was looking.

  38. froray53 says: Jun 27, 2017 6:51 PM

    Great allow sports betting! But if the NFL is going to get any money out of it then all tax exempt status that they have needs to go away!

  39. somehomer says: Jun 27, 2017 7:04 PM

    Does a problem exist that can not be solved on this forum ?

  40. icebowler says: Jun 27, 2017 7:23 PM

    If it helps government keep my taxes lower, I’m all for it.

  41. bigdog2372 says: Jun 27, 2017 8:16 PM

    Gee, citizens being able to spend their money however they like. How generous of the crown.

  42. puntonfirstdown says: Jun 27, 2017 11:39 PM

    A fool and his money are soon parted.

  43. carlospaula says: Jun 28, 2017 4:43 AM

    It’s etc not ect.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!