Brett Smiley explains recent Supreme Court ruling on sports betting
The Supreme Court voted in a 6-3 decision Monday to strike down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, a federal law that required most states to ban sports gambling. The ruling effectively allows states to legalize sports betting, but how soon can fans participate?
Even before today’s ruling, almost 20 states had introduced legislation that would pave the way for legalized sports betting, and a handful of those states actually passed the legislation. Sportshandle.com’s Brett Smiley, an attorney and former FOX Sports writer, joined John Clayton on 710 ESPN Seattle to talk about what the timeline looks like for different states. First in line is New Jersey, a state at the forefront of Monday’s decision.
“New Jersey is going to be one of the first movers of course, they were behind this legal battle for a long time now,” Smiley said. “They may take their first bet at a racetrack in northern New Jersey in about two weeks. And Atlantic City should be up and going before NFL season… Pennsylvania and West Virginia have already passed laws that were contingent upon what occurred today. Delaware was grandfathered in, so they’re going to be ready to go, Mississippi should be ready to go, and I believe both New York and Michigan will have something done … by the end of this year.”
Other states may need to wait longer. Washington and Oklahoma, in particular, are in a unique position.
“Washington is a bit tougher because there are a lot of Native American tribes and their compacts with the state make it a little more complicated,” Smily said. “Oklahoma and Connecticut are seeing the same type of thing. (Washington State) is obviously progressive, having been one of the first if not the first with legal marijuana, but I think just reconciling the tribal-state compacts might delay it a bit. Perhaps 2020 or 2021, but a little bit slower as a result of that.”
Smiley said casinos will likely need to apply for a sports gaming license, and many establishments will have a mobile component. There is currently no action in Washington state, but you can track the development of betting legislation here.