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Supreme Court ruling favors sports betting



Sports officials have been complaining for years about how legalized operations would lead to corruption of their games through match-fixing, although there is no indication that this is a realistic concern. Sports betting is legal and popular in the UK, for example, but the integrity of the Premier League has not suffered. In fact, the legalization of gambling allows companies and leagues to monitor gambling patterns and identify betting irregularities that could point to corruption.

In recent years, the professional sports leagues have taken different positions. Nominally, they are all against it: When New Jersey abrogated its law against sports betting, N.B.A., N.F.L., N.H.L. and M.L.B. and the N.C.A.A., which regulates the college sport, together to sue the state. They were on the losing side of Monday's decision.

During the N.F.L. and N.C.A.A. were the staunchest in their stance against legalized sports betting, the NB.A. had long ago come to the conclusion that public opinion had changed, that introducing gray and black market bets into the legal market would be the best way to prevent match-fixing and that money could be made available to the leagues

2014 Adam Silver, the commissioner of the NBA, wrote an Op-Ed for the New York Times in which he advocated the legalization and regulation of sports betting. In an appearance for a New York Senate committee in January, an official from the League submitted the NB.A's statement on their ideal sports betting law, which would include monitoring to uncover unusual betting activities; in the case of bets paid to sports leagues, apply a "integrity charge" of 1 per cent; and authorize digital betting platforms in addition to traditional casinos.

In the months since then, the NB.A. and M.L.B. have visited the state legislatures to mobilize lawmakers for the rules.

The leagues are not the only actors trying to shape the legislation. Unions representing professional athletes, such as the Association of Baseball Players, have demanded a seat at the table, while casinos and gambling groups have opposed a claim for integrity charge. Indian tribes, which generate more than $ 30 billion in casino revenue each year, have mostly wanted to wait for sports betting but will certainly have a say in shaping laws.

There's always a chance at last Congress could get involved.

"Congress can regulate sports betting directly, but if it does not, any state can act independently," Judge Alito wrote in his majority opinion.


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