GAMBLING industry experts are predicting an online gambling expansion in every state that adopts sports betting, provided the US Supreme court hands down a favourable decision.
In just one week, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) will hear arguments for and against the repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act 1992.
The legislation currently prevents individual states from legalising sports betting in America, excluding Nevada, Delaware, Montana and Oregon.
Gambling officials believe it may open the floodgates if the court votes in favour of the sports betting case brought by the state of New Jersey.
New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement director, David Rebuck, said online gaming will be legalised in every state that adopts sports betting, “if we win”.
“As soon as sports wagering is legalised, online gambling will follow right behind it.”
A key argument lobbyists are making is sports betting still occurs and up to $USD60 billion a year is lost to offshore bookmakers.
According to a report by Eilers & Krejcik Gaming, 32 states could legalise sports betting in five years if SCOTUS approves the repeal of PASPA, creating a $6 billion regulated market.
The report also found that if all 50 states regulate sports betting, the market could be worth $15.8 billion.
Experts also believe that once states have legalised sports betting, they’ll be more inclined to legalise online casino gambling.
Centre for Gaming Research at the University of Las Vegas-Nevada director, David Schwartz, said the two forms of gambling go hand-in-hand.
“It makes a lot of sense to offer sports betting over the internet,” he said.
“Once you have the systems for letting people bet on sports in place, it isn’t a huge step to permit them to bet on casino games or poker as well.”
The state of Pennsylvania is one of the 13 to have introduced legislation prepping for a favourable ruling, and it has recently legalised online casino gambling and poker. New Jersey, along with Delaware and Nevada, has had a legal online casino and poker industry since 2013.
Gambling companies with a physical presence in New Jersey or a company in partnership with a land-based casino can only run online casinos or poker rooms in the state.
Additionally, New Jersey recently became the first state to offer online and mobile virtual racing and sports betting via PlaySugarHouse, which is owned by the Golden Nugget in Atlantic City.
The product, created by Inspired Gaming, offers gamblers the chance to bet on virtual sports and racing and is quite popular in European markets, where betting on real and live sports is permitted.
The outcome of each match is determined by random number generator software, similarly to online slots and table games.
Since many professional punters turn their nose up at RNG software, we are back to the sports betting case.
While a favourable ruling will allow individual states to legalise sports betting, major sports betting leagues have released conflicting statements on their stance.
While the NBA signed the brief supporting a ban on sports betting, which will be considered during the SCOTUS trial, NBA Commissioner, Adam Silver, has made comments supporting sports betting.
But the NBA states that it is fighting NJ because it wants a federal framework and states can choose to opt-in.
Ultimately, the result of the case will depend on the constitutionality of PASPA, as NJ is arguing it violates individual state’s rights.
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