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MLS releases statement on Supreme Court’s sports betting decision

Crystal Kalahiki, right, takes a bet in the sports book at the South Point hotel-casino, May 14, 2018, in Las Vegas. The Supreme Court on Monday gave its go-ahead for states to allow gambling on sports across the nation, striking down a federal law that barred betting on football, basketball, baseball and other sports in most states. (AP Photo/John Locher)

Major League Soccer released a statement Monday regarding the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down a federal law that mostly banned sports betting outside of Nevada.

“Although Major League Soccer is supportive of today’s Supreme Court decision, we also believe that it is critical that state legislatures and other regulatory bodies work closely with the professional sports leagues in the United States to develop a regulatory framework to protect the integrity of each of our respective sports,” the statement read. “We look forward to being a part of that process.” 

The United States’ other major sports leagues issued similar statements after the ruling, most concerned with developing regulation to “protect the integrity of the game.”

In the case, Murphy v. National Collegiate Athletic Association, the court ruled that the federal Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 unconstitutionally interfered with New Jersey’s ability to modify its laws related to sports gambling.

Read a summary of the case and the full opinion of the court here. And here is a good primer from the Washington Post that breaks down the impact of the ruling.

“The legalization of sports gambling is a controversial subject,” the court’s decision read. “Supporters argue that legalization will produce revenue for the States and critically weaken illegal sports betting operations, which are often run by organized crime. Opponents contend that legalizing sports gambling will hook the young on gambling, encourage people of modest means to squander their savings and earnings, and corrupt professional and college sports. The legalization of sports gambling requires an important policy choice, but the choice is not ours to make.

“Congress can regulate sports gambling directly, but if it elects not to do so, each State is free to act on its own. Our job is to interpret the law Congress has enacted and decide whether it is consistent with the Constitution. PASPA is not.”

Former New Jersey governor Chris Christie led the charge to legalize sports betting in New Jersey years ago and originally was named in the case. His name was then replaced with current governor Phil Murphy.

The NCAA commented after the ruling, saying, “Today the United States Supreme Court issued a clear decision that PASPA is unconstitutional, reversing the lower courts that held otherwise.  While we are still reviewing the decision to understand the overall implications to college sports, we will adjust sports wagering and championship policies to align with the direction from the court.”





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