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What does Monday’s Supreme Court ruling legalizing sports betting mean for Florida?

Florida Football Insiders

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Jasper Colt-USA TODAY NETWORK

It’s an historic day, May 14th, 2018, as the Supreme Court of the United States has ruled that the State of New Jersey can do, as the State of Nevada has done for over 50 years, and allow legalized sports betting.

In a 7-2 majority ruling, the “SCOTUS” said Monday that New Jersey and any other state, including ours, is allowed to enact laws and regulate sports betting. The majority opinion was written by Justice Samuel Alito, who in disagreeing with the Federal Appeals Court in New Jersey from 2014, wrote that a Congressional law passed in 1992 prohibiting sports betting by the states is, wait for it…, unconstitutional.

From Alito’s opinion:

“Congress can regulate sports gambling directly, but if it elects not to do so, each state is free to act on its own. Our job is to interpret the law Congress has enacted and decide whether it is consistent with the Constitution. PASPA (the 1992 federal ban) is not.”

New Jersey voters had decisively decided that they wanted this at the ballot box in 2012, but federal appeals by the U.S. Government over the past five years had stopped it. In June of last year, SCOTUS agreed to hear arguments for the last appeal and ruled officially, today.

So what does this mean in our state?

Well for now, there is no law allowing sports betting (like what New Jersey passed). So, that has to come either from the legislature soley (unlikely) or by it being put to a state vote (much more likely).

That could happen as soon, as this November, if the legislature chose to move quickly. However, if you know anything about government, state, or federal, they never do.

So, this is probably a 2019 and beyond situation.

Florida has eight different massive casinos throughout the state, seven controlled by the Seminole Indian tribe and one by the Miccosukke Indian tribe that are already in place. They could and would be, the logical starting point for “sports books” to legally take bets.

Again, that’s far from a done deal.

However, the State already regulates and takes in tens of millions of dollars from these casinos on their casino games, plus horse and dog tracks, and other betting sites, for gambling on para-mutual wagering, etc.

So, it’s not far fetched that in the not too distant future, you will be able to go to a casino or another legalized sports book and bet on Gators, Bucs, Dolphins, Noles, and anything sports related LEGALLY, in the state of Florida.

Stay tuned.

Interesting day, indeed.

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