For many years, Nevada was the only state where Americans were allowed to place bets on basketball, football and other sporting events, as a 1992 federal law that prohibited sports wagering was in force.
However, things changed dramatically last Monday as the United States Supreme Court rendered a ruling that stroke down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), which the state of New Jersey had challenged as unconstitutional. This decision means that type of wagering is now allowed nationwide, thus opening up a wide range of opportunities for many players in the gambling industry.
In light of this new scenario, Anthony Cabot, a lawyer specializing in gaming law and Distinguished Fellow at University of Nevada, Las Vegas, spoke exclusively to Yogonet.com and delved into the impact the U.S highest court’s ruling will have on the United States and global gambling industry, as well as the different voices for an against this landmark decision.
According to Mr. Cabot, the effect of this new given green light to sports betting regulation will vary considerably among the different states "The decision will result in probably 12 to 20 states quickly legalizing sports wagers. Because it will occur on a state by state basis, the impact will be quite different depending on the state."
He believes that the State’s population is an important factor to be taken into account: "While large states like New York could see a vibrant and profitable industry if they do it correctly, states with small populations will be less successful."
The gambling specialist also stressed the importance of being realistic as regards tax rates to deter players from continuing to engage in illegal sports betting: "The sports wagering industry is a low margin business and legal bookmakers with still have to compete with untaxed illegal operators, so a high tax, like those typical on casinos, will not work in the sports industry and will drive players to illegal sites with better odds."
Mr. Cabot is confident that many states and regulators will support legalized sports wagering and will see rapid proliferation across "perhaps half the United States". When asked about the dissenting voices, he noted that "in some states, religious, conservative and even progressive liberals may oppose expansion of gambling."
Finally as regards sports leagues, the lawyer believes that "NCAA will oppose any efforts to allow sports wager on amateur sports,” as the sports league has been steadfastly against legal and illegal sports betting. "Still, in other states, existing gaming interests that cannot get licenses to operate sports wagering may object," he concluded.