SCOTUS Opens Door to Sports Betting

By Richard Nelson


May 21, 2018

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The U.S. Supreme Court overturned a federal law that banned states from allowing gambling on sports. This means that states will now be able to create a regulatory structure and allow gambling on all sporting events. One reason the federal government banned it was because gambling had a corrupting influence on professional sporting events. At one time, nearly all forms of gambling were banned in our country. Why? Because gambling inevitably hurts too many people. Americans lost $117 billion on legal gambling in 2016. It's expected that many states will move to allow gambling on sports. But is it really a good idea to legalize a passive activity that creates no wealth, no new service and eventually ends up causing much social harm? That's a question that each state legislature, including Kentucky will eventually have to answer.


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Director, Commonwealth Policy Center