Federal ban on states regulating sports betting lifted

U.S. Supreme Court decision allows states to regulate and tax sports betting; Iowa and Minnesota already drafting legislation

Posted: May 14, 2018 8:01 PM

MASON CITY, Iowa - It's a historic change in the way people can bet on sporting events.

On Monday morning, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) was unconstitutional, which means states will be allowed to establish their own regulated sports betting laws.

PASPA was signed into law by President Bush in 1992 and went into effect the following year, barring states from regulating and taxing sports betting.

Burke's Bar & Grill owner Dan Burke has allowed some pools to be placed on sporting events, much like an office pool, though it wasn't anything major.

"Iowa allows some minor sports betting. They limit to $5 a bet, and I think it's a maximum of $50," Burke adds.

Now that it's been reversed, Burke says it's something he would like to get in on.

"I think that could be good for all around. I don't see why it would hurt anything. It pretty much goes on legally or illegally as it goes anyway. I don't even know why they made it illegal. People wanna bet, they're gonna bet," Burke says.

Casinos would likely join in as well.

In a statement by Diamond Jo Casino's parent company Boyd Entertainment, President and CEO Keith Smith says they're excited by today's decision, and 'whether we ultimately offer sports betting in specific states will depend on the rules and tax rates set forth by each state. It is still too early to say which specific opportunities we will pursue, but we are monitoring the situation very closely,
and are prepared to act quickly as individual states move forward with legislation.'

The U.S. Supreme Court upheld a New Jersey law from 2014 that allowed betting at casinos and racetracks in that state. Both Iowa and Minnesota are proposing legislation that allow sports betting, but it's more than likely that the issue won't be discussed until the next legislative sessions.

If Iowa does allow sports betting, Burke expects regulations to be in place to prevent it from getting out of control.

"Anything can get out of hand. You just have to deal with it as it comes. If it gets out of hand, you have to make another rule or something. Tone it down a bit," Burke adds.

A gambling market researcher says the market for legal sports betting could be more than $57 billion nationwide.

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