The United States Supreme Court struck down a federal low that prohibits sports gambling, clearing the way for states to legalizing such betting. The court ruled 7-2 to strike down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PAPSA), which was enacted in 1992 and barred state-authorized sports gambling with some exceptions.
It allowed for Nevada to be the only state where wagers could be placed on the results of a sporting game. Historically, the NCAA, NFL and NBA had backed the federal prohibition.
However in January, NBA commissioner Adam Silver and the league’s attorneys outlined a path in which the NBA would support the legalization of sports gambling.
In light of the Supreme Court’s landmark decision, Silver reiterated the NBA is accepting of the change so long as regulations are in place, via ESPN’s Arash Markazi:
Today’s decision by the Supreme Court opens the door for states to pass laws legalizing sports betting. We remain in favor of a federal framework that would provide a uniform approach to sports gambling in states that choose to permit it, but we will remain active in ongoing discussions with state legislatures. Regardless of the particulars of any future sports betting law, the integrity of our game remains our highest priority.”
Among other regulations, the NBA previously requested one percent of wagers made on its games.
The NBA has a bit of a checkered past with gambling, as the league was mired in a scandal in July 2007 when FBI reports alleged former referee Tim Donaghy bet on games he officiated. To Silver’s credit, he’s been one of the more progressive commissioners in professional sports.