The United States Supreme Court ruled by a vote of 6-3 to lift the federal ban on sports betting and put the matter at the hands of each state. The ruling gets rid of a 1992 law that made sports betting outside of Nevada, as well as a few other exceptions, illegal.
"The legalization of sports gambling requires an important policy choice, but the choice is not ours to make," Justice Samuel Alito wrote in the 6-3 opinion. "Congress can regulate sports gambling directly, but if it elects not to do so, each state is free to act on its own."
The case originated with a lawsuit from former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.
“A great day for the rights of states and their people to make their own decisions,” Christie tweeted. “New Jersey citizens wanted sports gambling and the federal Gov't had no right to tell them no. The Supreme Court agrees with us today. I am proud to have fought for the rights of the people of NJ.”
It is now up to each state whether or not they will make sports gambling legal and in what capacity. California has no imminent laws prepared and, according to a recent Business Journal story, it could take months, if not years, for legislation to come.
Today’s ruling also has major implications for companies like Smarkets, which is based in Los Angeles and the U.K. and operates online sports betting marketplaces. They will be subject to state laws but could be up and running shortly in states like New Jersey that already passed contingent legislation. Some states could legalize sports betting in land-based casinos but not online.
Technology reporter Eli Horowitz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @coachhorowitz13 for the latest in L.A. tech news.