11:41am: Adam Silver has issued a statement in response to the Supreme Court’s decision, as our Chris Crouse tweets.
“Today’s decision by the Supreme Court opens the door for states to pass laws legalizing sports betting,” Silver said. “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.”
9:30am: The United States Supreme Court has voted in favor of overturning a federal ban on sports gambling, tweets ESPN’s Brian Windhorst. The full decision from the Supreme Court can be found right here.
As Windhorst details (via Twitter), the ruling states that Congress will have the power to regulate sports gambling directly, but if it elects not to do so, each U.S. state is free to make its own laws, which is the expected outcome.
The Supreme Court’s decision came in response to a case brought by the state of New Jersey, which is now one of four states prepared to institute laws for legalized sports betting. The other three states are West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Mississippi, according to Windhorst, who adds that about 20 other states are in line to follow suit.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver has been a proponent of legalized sports betting for several years. As Michael Scotto of The Athletic detailed last week, Silver is aware that hundreds of billions of dollars are being bet illegally on the NBA, and feels it’s in the league’s best interest to have a voice in how that betting is regulated. As we noted earlier this year, the NBA also reportedly wants to receive a 1% share of each bet placed on one of its games.
“One of our issues is that because we are the producers of this intellectual property, the NBA will spend $7.5 billion this year creating this product, and because we’re going to have all these additional costs involving integrity we should be compensated in some way for the use of our property,” Silver said recently, per Scotto.
While it remains to be seen exactly how the NBA – and other sports leagues – will get involved in legalized betting and how each U.S. state will handle it, today’s Supreme Court decision could signal a landmark shift in how many fans consume and engage with sports.
For more on what today’s decision means, check out an FAQ from David Purdum and Ryan Rodenberg of ESPN.com.