After a decades-long strong stance against sports gambling, the NBA came out last week in support of legalizing sports betting.
The support comes at an interesting, if not ironic moment in the history of sports betting; the Supreme Court is currently reviewing New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s case against the NCAA, NBA, MLB and other national sports leagues. The leagues sued New Jersey when the state tried to legalize sports betting in 2012. Christie pleaded his case for years and was finally heard by the Supreme Court in late 2017.
Should the Supreme Court rule in Christie’s favor, New Jersey won’t be the only state to feel the ramifications; if the court allows New Jersey to offer legalized sports betting, it will also allow every other state as well.
What’s the Lawsuit All About?
When New Jersey tried to legalize sports betting in 2012, the state was slammed by lawsuits from the NBA and various other leagues. The leagues argued that sports betting is illegal based on a 1992 law that prohibited state-authorized sports betting in all states, except Delaware, Montana, Nevada, and Oregon. These states met a deadline in 1991 and were thus exempted from the law.
Christie has argued before the Supreme Court that such a law is unconstitutional; if 4 states are allowed to offer sports betting, all the states should be allowed.
While the case is still pending, it seems that the NBA thinks that the Supreme Court will rule in Christie’s favor and allow sports betting to be legal across the U.S. If this happens, the NBA needs to get in on the ground floor so that it can attempt to get a cut of the massive revenue that sports betting has the potential to generate.
New Jersey, Online Gambling and Sports Betting Trailblazer
While New Jersey has always been known for its exhilarating Atlantic City casinos, over the past 5 years it has also become a trailblazer in the world of online gambling. New Jersey was one of the first three states to legalize online gambling in 2013, and today it may just pave the way for legalized sports betting across the U.S.