By John P. Mello Jr.
May 16, 2018 5:00 AM
Hundreds of millions of dollars may soon be poured into online betting stores because of the US Supreme Court ruling Monday to give states the power to regulate sports betting.
"Right now, there is a huge black market for offshore, illegal sports books being offered to US citizens," said Matthew Kalish, chief tax services officer for
"We think it's in the order of $ 150 billion (US) that are committed this way right now," he told the E-Commerce Times. "As the market becomes regulated, we believe that the market will evolve into regulated online legal activities in the United States."
Some of this money is already being watched by states, now that they are empowered to put in place systems that allow fans to put their money where their loyalty is.
"By heavily regulating sports betting, states are hoping to earn revenue through taxes and eliminate the damaging elements of the equation," said Mukul Krishna, global head of digital media at Frost & Sullivan.
"There are social and moral arguments against that," he told the E-Commerce Times, "but in terms of the market, people are talking about $ 100 billion to $ 400 billion.
New Jersey vs. NCAA
The SCOTUS decision came in two cases against the NCAA: one brought by the governor of New Jersey; the other brought by the Thoroughbred Riders Association of New Jersey.
The lawsuits challenged the Act on the Protection of Professional and Amateur Athletes, passed by Congress in 1992, which prohibited states from allowing sports play.
In a 6-3 decision, the Supremes held that Congress exceeded its powers by approving PASPA.
The law violates something called the "anticontreering rule," which bars the Congress from directly controlling state legislatures, they discovered.
"It's as if federal officers were installed in the legislative chambers of the state and were armed with the power to prevent lawmakers from voting on offensive proposals," wrote the Judge Samuel Alito for the majority. "A more direct affront to the sovereignty of the state is not easy to imagine."
Spilled baby with bath water
In a dissenting opinion, Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg acknowledged the requisition language, but argued that it was not a reason to completely abolish the law.
"Deleting the so-called" requisitioned "directives would release the law to accomplish what Congress legitimately sought to do: stop sports gaming schemes while stating that the stop is attributable to federal action and non-state, "she wrote.
By outlawing sports betting, however, Congress only did so illegally.
"Our reason for advocating the repeal of PASPA has been to put in place legal and regulated frameworks that block illegal gambling operations, much of which is happening online," says Casey Clark, vice-president of President of Strategic Communications at
American Gaming Association.
"What we want to see put in place are opportunities for consumers to have access to the kind of opportunities that they like and require," he said at E-Commerce Times, but "exaggeratedly".
With so much potential money at stake, the online gambling scene could begin to attract new players.
"Initially, this will attract people who are familiar with well-regulated sports books in the United States," noted Clark, "but that could attract European operators who have been doing this for a long time in places like the United Kingdom. "
These European outfits could be more than American gamblers.
"American sports, even college sports, have a very good international level," Krishna told Frost. "That's how the United States has been able to sell Americana for decades."
The question of whether online sports betting can attract new players may be less important than the new players that they attract.
"One of the big questions will be to what extent do big, well-established companies get into this business," said Joshua Benton, director of
Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard University.
"You can compare it to the marijuana industry," he told the E-Commerce Times. "At this point, the alcohol companies have not made huge investments, these are mostly startups because it's still uncertain."
Because sports betting is now in the hands of states, betting companies will have to deal with a variety of approaches.
"Some of them may decide that you are doing these bets, but you have to do it in a casino, a horse racing track, OTB or something like that, which could compel the. activity, "said Benton.
"Others may say that it's quite good to do it online, or to do it like you buy a lottery ticket, at a gas station," he said. he continued. "We just do not know how it will evolve, but it is clear that a lot of money will soon enter this industry.