It’s a big news day for sports, media, and sports media as the United States Supreme Court ruled to overturn the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992, a law that outlawed sports gambling in every state. Well, except in places like Nevada, which was grandfathered in because it had legal sports wagering before the law was passed.
So what does this mean? For starters, states who want to offer legal sports gambling to the public can pass laws allowing it to happen. Neat. Could this mean Illinois will work to legalize sports betting in Illinois? Certainly. State Senator Napoleon Harris created the Sports Wagering Act in February in anticipation of a favorable ruling that would legalize sports gambling. And in March, Harris made a case for legalization, citing its popularity and its potential benefit to the government.
A source tells mike Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk that six to 10 states could have legalized sports betting by Week 1 of the NFL season. Bob Susnjara of the Daily Herald writes that Illinois is “expected to accelerate work” to make it happen as a result of Monday’s ruling.
As part of a release referring to today’s news, the NFL released a statement which reads as follows:
“The NFL’s long-standing and unwavering commitment to protecting the integrity of our game remains absolute. Congress has long-recognized the potential harms posed by sports betting to the integrity of sporting contests and the public confidence in these events. Given that history, we intend to call on Congress again, this time to enact a core regulatory framework for legalized sports betting. We also will work closely with our clubs to ensure that any state efforts that move forward in the meantime protect our fans and the integrity of our game.”
Meanwhile, NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport opens up a window into what could be on the league’s plate in the wake of this ruling:
Notes on how @NFL will react to the sports gambling news: 1. Maintaining integrity of the game is the highest’s priority. 2. It won’t rush into the biggest pot of dollars. Will slow-play this & think long-term. 3. The direct dollars will come from licensing, logos, videos & data.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) May 14, 2018
Oh, and the NFL Players Association also released a statement, too:
— NFLPA (@NFLPA) May 14, 2018
Football and wagering have gone together like peanut butter and jelly for quite some time. Here at TYL, we include betting lines and spreads for each game, as well as posts for futures and prop bets. Because of gambling’s relevance and long-standing connection to the game, how the NFL goes about approaching this subject will be something we watch closely.