Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) defined the legal status of sports betting for a long time throughout the US. Signed by George H.W. Bush, the act went into effect from 1993. Except for few states, PASPA made it illegal for all the other states to regulate and tax sports betting. Still, the illegal betting continued in the US for a long time. It was estimated that Americans wager about $150 billion in illegal sports betting every year.
At that time, Nevada was the only state which already had a lot of betting’s going on. While for the three other states of Oregon, Montana, and Delaware, there were concessions made in this act.
The Supreme Court of the United States overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) on 14 May of this year. It was the state of New Jersey who was trying to legalize sports betting after a referendum in 2011 showed people favoring betting in its area. With this outcome, it is expected that the sports betting climate will radically change across the US.
However, the court’s judgment has not automatically made sports betting legal in the US. Although, it has given the authority to individual states now as to how they go about legalizing and regulating sports betting in their states. However, there is one more possibility. The US Congress could do legislation on this matter directly. In fact, this is what the major sports leagues are lobbying for because this is more beneficial for all of them. The problem is that it will not happen very soon and is expected to take some time.
Therefore, it is looking very likely at the moment that state by state legalization process would occur. Different states would go about legalization differently. Some states would liberalize sports betting very quickly, some would take a longer time and some would continue with the already existing system.
Compared with the US, the gambling laws in the UK are very liberal. The country made sports betting legal a long time ago. All the sports betting is regulated by the UK Gambling Commission. One can easily spot online casinos in the UK with the seal of the Gambling Commission, though only people over the age of 18 can play there.
The country has the most competitive market in the world offering better choices and conditions for all the punters. The online gambling population in the UK is estimated to be about 2.1 million. It is interesting to note that London alone has over 1,000 betting shops. However, there is one downside for the casino operators- they have to pay a lot of tax to the government.
The betting conditions were not always like this in the UK. In fact, there were many restrictions before. The betting landscape changed a great deal in the country only after the 1960 Act which legalized off-course bookmakers. The Gambling Act 2005 tried to ensure that gambling is conducted in a fair and open way by creating the Gambling Commission. The act also tried to prevent gambling from being a source of crime and ensure that children and other vulnerable persons are protected.
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Sports betting in four US States
New Jersey is very likely to legalize sports betting very soon in order to honor the result of the 2011 referendum. In a way, the New York state already legalized sports betting in 2013. However, this liberalization of sports betting is confined to 4 upstate casinos only. Therefore, it is looking likely that lawmakers would try to include more locations for sports betting in their state.
While in the state of Delaware, a sports lottery has been allowed to offer bets on NFL games. Therefore, they would probably expand this to include a full range of sports betting legislation.
In October 2017, the Pennsylvania state made a legislation to authorize sports betting at its casinos. However, they kept a very stringent condition. Anyone wishing to take advantage of the post-PASPA situation has to agree for a 36 percent tax rate along with $10 million licensing fees. So now it remains to be seen whether casino operators would still be tempted to cash in on the opportunity even if the expenses will be sky-high for them.
In the state of Mississippi, the prohibition on sports betting by its casinos was removed in the year 2017. This was done due to a regulation dealing with fantasy sports. Now with the PASPA overturning, the sports betting would be legalized very soon in the state.