- REUTERS/Las Vegas Sun/Steve Marcus
- The Supreme Court ruled on Monday that the federal ban on sports betting was unconstitutional.
- The move opens up legal sports betting in New Jersey and beyond, as states can now choose whether to legalize the practice.
- In the majority opinion, Justice Samuel Alito wrote, “Congress can regulate sports gambling directly, but if it elects not to do so, each state is free to act on its own.”
The United States Supreme Court ruled in favor of New Jersey on Monday, calling the federal ban on sports betting unconstitutional and opening up the potential for more states to legalize it.
The decision overturns the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, the 1992 law that banned sports betting outside of Nevada and a few other states that had been grandfathered in.
In a 6-3 decision, the court ruled that “Congress can regulate sports gambling directly, but if it elects not to do so, each state is free to act on its own.”
Justice Samuel Alito, a New Jersey native, gave the majority opinion, saying: “Our job is to interpret the law Congress has enacted and decide whether it is consistent with the Constitution. PASPA is not.”
The ruling could lead to a windfall for New Jersey and specifically Atlantic City, as millions of people in nearby metro areas could be just a short drive away from legal sports betting.