Is It Legal to Bet on Sports Online in the US?
If we are to give you a short answer to this question then the answer would be yes. Online sports betting is legal in the United States and in online casinos that operate in this country – view more here. But some states are considering legislation that would either further increase the legality, or further complicate matters.
Online sports’ betting was made legal in the United States following the lifting of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act from 1992. Ever since 1992 this law stood in place and prevented states from offering betting services.
This was the case on all but four states that were granted full immunity. The states in question were Montana, Nevada, Oregon, and Delaware.
But this was seen as unfair by many other states that wanted to challenge the PASPA act. The first to do it was New Jersey by a 6-3 in favor of striking down PASPA.
After New Jersey succeeded, 13 additional states followed and the number of states was online betting was made legal currently numbers 18. Tennessee, Virginia, Washington, and North Carolina have also made online sports betting legal, but have not made further actions to make the law final; courtesy of the COVID 19 pandemic.
History of the PASPA
We mentioned that PASPA came into law in 1992 under President George H.W. Bush and his administration wrote and sign the legislation into law.
This act prevented all but four states from allowing online sports betting on major sports such as football, soccer, rugby, baseball, etc.
And while online sports betting was illegal by then, the act took things one step further by allowing states to prosecute and take civil actions against anyone that practiced it.
Services that offer betting on sports would be sued and have their business practicing licenses revoked.
PASPA became a subject of much debate, but the debate was finally lover in 2018 when New Jersey debated and defied PASPA. But this didn’t go unnoticed. Jew Jersey revoking PASPA sparked a heated row that took things all the way to the Supreme Court.
Fortunately for betting fans, the Supreme Court voted in favor of the state of New Jersey, and on May 14th, 2018, it gave the state the right to tax online sports betting and every other betting of the kind.
But how did they win? Well, to put it simply, the people voted for it. The people of the state of New Jersey voted betting to be a legal act that every citizen of New Jersey could practice.
This action put Atlantic City right where it once was; the heart of the gambling world. Once New Jersey made it legal for people to bet on sports, an influx of betting sites made their way to entertain the citizens of the state.
Will There Be a Change of Law?
Now that online sports’ betting is legal in most of the United States, the question always remains whether the Federal Government will try to revoke and pass other laws to replace PASPA.
This is always a possibility, to put it shortly. If the Federal Government decides to battle the May 2018 court decision, then we might see a new framework to replace PASPA as the official Federal and State law regarding online sports betting.
Even the man who helped write and put PASPA into law says that he is eager to write another law that would imply to all states prohibiting and revoking rights to online sports betting.
But given President Trump’s plans and policies, we are not hopeful that the Republican party will try and make online sports betting illegal across the territories of the United States.
The only changes we might see are regulatory changes that might increase the legal betting age of 18 to 21 and other similar changes.
Are There Are States Looking to Revoke the May 14th Court Decision?
It’s safe to say that New Jersey’s actions weren’t wholeheartedly accepted by all 50 states. Because of that, there are states that are thoroughly opposed to online betting.
The example is most apparent with Alabama, Colorado, South Carolina, Wisconsin, and Idaho. All six states prohibit online sports betting and will take some doing before it can be made legal.
All of these six states did nothing to change online sports betting prohibitions and there are no signs of them doing so.
And there are also other political motives for it. For example, many politicians express their support for the state’s’ rights to make their own laws regarding online sports betting. This means that many states are in support of the May 14, 2018, court decision to cancel PASPA.
How Are the MLB, MLS, and NBA Reacting to This?
Contrary to popular beliefs, leagues such as the MLB, NBA, and others across sports have reacted negatively to online sports betting being regulated on a state level, as opposed to on a federal level.
This means that there are quite a few obstacles in the way of profits. For example, different states tax different things. Some states might tax heavily on sports betting, while others not.
That’s why leagues such as the MLB and NBA have proposed a 1% “Integrity Fee”. Betting services have reacted very negatively to this as well as states because it takes 1% out of their profits.
But the MLB and NBA have openly stated why this has to happen. Namely, their concerns for keeping the sport free and open-handed is the main reason why they propose a one-percent tax.