Supreme Court rules sports betting legal in all 50 states


LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Big news from Washington Monday that could affect every state, including Kentucky.

The U.S. Supreme Court struck down a federal law, banning many types of sports-related gambling, naturally, reaction is mixed.

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The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, better known as PASPA is now a thing of the past.

Now, sports gambling is up to the states.

PASPA banned states from regulating and taxing sports betting.

In many places, state employees, teachers in particular, already support taxing sports gambling, because the money could go toward state pensions.

Democratic State Senator Jullian Carroll filed a bill earlier this year that would allow the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission to oversee sports betting at its facilities.

Carroll says legalized sports betting is a good way to plug financial holes in the state budget.

The Family Foundation disagrees, saying it won’t create new jobs, and money will leave the state.

“There are those who say they want to tax it, but that’s just ripping off the people of Kentucky. Kentucky already has the power to tax, we don’t need to bring the gambling industry in so it can get its cut. It’s a very inefficient way to raise money for government.”

But how do sports organizations feel about the ruling?

ABC reports the NBA supports the supreme court’s decision, but some other major athletic organizations like the NCAA remain opposed.

The organization says betting can hurt the integrity of it’s games.

The Executive Director of the Family Foundation says making it legal will create bigger problems, ones he sees everyday.

“Poor people wager there money and lose, and it ends up having a tremendous impact on the family, but there are also kinds of addictions that develop, stressors that show up. The alcohol, the drugs, the abuse of children, the marital breakup, divorce, etc.”

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association tells ABC 36 legalizing sports betting will give organizations a better handle on gambling addiction.

“Why not regulate it, bring it out in the open, provide people with resources so that if they are having problems, so that they can seek some help? It works for them and for the vast majority of people that have no problem enjoying sports betting as another form of legal entertainment, let them enjoy it as well.”

The Supreme Court’s decision only allows states to control gambling within their own borders.

It doesn’t legalize online gambling, or online bets, that would require new legislation.

Kentucky could deal with this during the next general assembly session, early next year.