Legislation to legalize sports betting expected in 2019

Dennis Drazin | Patty Wolfe

"As a result, we now seek partnerships with proven gaming software and other established operators in the anticipation that individual State legislation will receive approval", said Ed Comins, WatchandWager president.

The General Assembly's two Democratic and two Republican leaders added sports betting to the annual list of study topics, but "not necessarily because the four leaders think it's a great idea", House Speaker Brian Bosma said.

Sports betting, though, will remain illegal in Oklahoma unless the Legislature changes the law. The federal law barred most states from allowing sports wagering. Through efficient regulation, there will be new protections for consumers, preservation of sporting integrity and new revenue for states and sporting bodies, he said. William Hill plans to open a sports book at the Monmouth Park racetrack in Oceanport, New Jersey by Memorial Day.

"State leaders need to be prepared to tell the truth about the economic predation of casino gambling [and] pastors and church leaders need to be prepared to pastor their flock through the fallout that the court's decision is sure to produce".

"Congress can regulate sports gambling directly, but if it elects not to do so, each State is free to act on its own".

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However, once the case reached the Supreme Court, Justice Alito observed that PASPA forbade states from repealing any then-existing bans on the sports betting, freezing the status quo as it existed in 1992, when only Nevada law comprehensively authorized sports betting and sports books (three other states - Oregon, Delaware, and Montana - permitted limited sports "lotteries").

The ruling moves the "anti-commandeering doctrine" more into the mainstream and moves some of the most controversial subjects of this controversial time from Congress into state legislatures. But the ruling was not quite the vindication of state sovereignty that it appeared to be.

The American Gaming Association represents the $240 billion USA casino industry.

Joining Alito in the majority were Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justices Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas, Elena Kagan and Neil Gorsuch. Stephen Breyer issued an opinion that concurred in part and dissented in part.

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