The US Supreme Court permits free sports betting regulation in all the states

The US Supreme Court’s historic May 14 judgement on lifting the federal sports betting ban is a victory for the millions of US citizens seeking to bet on sports events in a safe, fair, transparent and regulated manner.

It is also a victory for all of us advocating that, in its essence, sports betting functions well only within a well regulated context. EOGL warmly welcomes this long-awaited decision

On the occasion of this landmark event for the Industry which is, in terms of its future development, similar to the adoption of the UK Betting and Gaming Act back in 1960, let’s recall once again some of the basic lessons needed for the future understanding of the Industry.

Assess the legislation by their impact, not by their original intent

As one New York Times reader wisely observed it is frustrating that the most Americans can legally bet on the future price of soybeans or a company’s future profits, but not on a sporting event.

The grim truth behind the US 25-year long, unclear, pre-Internet and inconsistent federal sports betting prohibition is that it only managed to create serious market distortions and make the country home to one of the world’s largest illegal sports betting market. The Americans had always found the way to wager money on their favourite sports events anyway, but through unlicensed and off-shore operators.

Regulation is the only sure bet, prohibitions go along with increased crime

In the context of the PASPA ban in force until recently, millions of U.S. citizens, faced with inadequate legislation, were effectively channelled towards wagering money in a completely unregulated, off-shore online and retail markets, with the luxury of options for anonymity, fraud as well as unenforced problem gambling or underage gambling. Ensuring honest, transparent, secure and safe offer for the customers only happens in a state-licensed enviroment.

This fact has been recognized by some of the 35 US states, which have already announced their intent to legalize sports betting in the close future. The same goes to the remainder of unregulated global market, as this decision will surely affect local regulators.

Responsible Gambling important to off-shore operators? Think twice

The vast majority of unregulated Internet betting sites have no betting or loss limits. Without the means of legally enforcing such limits, such providers feel safe being well beyond the jurisdictional reach of the states. As shown by the practice of UK, Malta, Cyprus and other well-regulated markets, in a state-sanctioned and regulated environment, the government has a growing interest in protecting its citizens, by imposing betting limits and advise on problem gambling.

The Unites States of America’s now have a unique chance to re-write smart and balanced gambling public policy from scratch, allowing millions of citizens to have legal fun, authorities to fill tax coffers, and people who take things too far help stay in control.

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