If you like to bet on sports, here's how the Supreme Court ruling will affect you


If you are not a gambler and have no intention of being one, the Supreme Court ruling that allows states to legalize and regulate sports gambling is of minimal effect. You’ll have to learn some new terminology because all the pregame, in-game and postgame shows will refer to spreads and totals and props, things gamblers already know.

But you as a non-bettor will not be otherwise affected.

But here’s what happened in Washington and how it will affect you as a bettor:

·     The Court decided in a 6-3 vote to declare PASPA, the federal anti-sports gambling statute, unconstitutional, thus allowing each state to either enact legalized gambling or modify it (in the cases of Nevada and New Jersey).

·     That means that each state can determine where legalized gambling can be held – anywhere from casinos to churches, convenience stores to stadiums, and potentially via your own smart devices from home.

·     It also means that each state can enact its own laws that govern taxation and other fees that would impact the amount of money a bettor would have to pay, winning or not. The law in California, for example, could be different than the one in Oregon, which in turn could be different from the one in Washington, and a bet of equal money on a game with identical odds could pay off differently in California than Oregon.

·     The states can also agree or refuse the requests of the sports leagues for an ”integrity fee,” generally considered to be one percent of each bet made – as an example, a bet on the 49ers or Raiders would be subject to an “integrity fee,” which is basically money taken off the top of any bet that either the states, the people taking the bet or those making the bet would have to pay to the National Football League. But if one were to parlay a three-team bet that involves an NFL team, an NBA team and a college football team, there could be three separate fees involved for each league.

·     Thus, in terms of your fictional winning $100 bet, each state could say how much of that $100 you would actually receive, and conversely, how much above your losing $100 bet would you have to pay. The leagues prefer one omnibus law that insures that such a fee would cover all bets in all states, but the Court today ruled that each state has the right to craft its own law with its own restrictions.

In sum, the road to legalized betting has been opened today, but the form or forms in which it takes are still very uncertain, including the simple matter of how soon you can actually make that legal bet.

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