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US Supreme Court Ends Ban on Sports Betting

2018-05-16

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[00:00.00]
  • The United States Supreme Court on Monday ended a 26-year ban on betting on professional and college sports.
  • [00:12.24]
  • The court’s decision permits state officials to pass laws permitting books to open on sports such as football, basketball, baseball and other games.
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  • In the coming months, those officials will also consider where bets can be placed:
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  • casinos, horse racing tracks, betting centers, stadiums, online, or from mobile phones.
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  • Supporters of the decision said legal betting could sharply increase income for states and the gambling industry.
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  • And they pointed out illegal sports betting is common.
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  • The American Gaming Association reported that Americans already place about $150 billion a year on bets.
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  • Opponents of the decision include major sports groups, such as the National Football League.
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  • Those groups said expanding legal gambling on sports could hurt the integrity of the games.
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  • In other words, they worry that players or others would try to influence the outcome of the games for financial gain.
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  • The president of an organization that helps people addicted to gambling also expressed concern.
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  • Marlene Warner leads the National Council on Problem Gambling.
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  • She said the ruling “will likely increase gambling participation and gambling problems unless steps are taken to minimize harm.”
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  • But given Monday’s ruling, both the sports groups and the National Council on Problem Gambling have suggested that some of the income from legal betting go toward supporting their interests.
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  • Three Supreme Court justices also disagreed with the ruling.
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  • They said parts of the original law were worth keeping.
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  • But the majority of justices said the issue was not so much sports or betting, but states’ rights.
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  • They said states should not be forced to adopt a federal regulation system – an argument that may later be used in cases related to immigration laws and marijuana restrictions.
  • [03:03.20]
  • I’m Kelly Jean Kelly.
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