What to Make of Gambling Stocks After SCOTUS Ruling

Dennis Drazin | Patty Wolfe

Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, a Bartow Republican, hailed the court's decision as a victory for state's rights but is still opposed to legalizing sports gambling.

One is predictably the National Football League, which put out a statement that among other things, made a fairly emphatic call for some sort of overarching Congressional regulation of the now-legalized sports betting industry.

If it passed a nationwide bill, Congress could require casinos, tracks or state governments to share some of their revenue with the sports leagues - or pay them what the leagues like to call "integrity fees", created to cover the costs of policing betting.

On Monday, the Supreme Court opened the door for states across the country to authorize sports gambling within their borders-a decision that could have a dramatic effect in the world of sports and potentially weaken the federal government's authority over states on a number of fronts. For the first time, it expressly takes the position that Congress can't tell the states what not to do.

"I do see this as somewhat dead in the water", she said of federal legislation.

However, a comment from Fox Business Senior Judicial Analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano on Monday alluded to the possibility of what might be highly improbable, but technically still a possibility - Congress opting to federally criminalize sports betting, as opposed to regulating it.

While Sen. John Bonacic, an Orange County Republican, wants to speed up the process, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie doesn't agree.

That changed in 2011, when the decline of Atlantic City as a gambling center led to state efforts to revive it. "And we want to be able to move forward with the overall industry". The 3rd Circuit said repealing the laws against gambling amounted to authorizing gambling - and struck down the law again. And discussion of point spreads, over/unders and prop bets could become more common among broadcasters and journalists as they seek to remain relevant to how fans are thinking about sports.

The 2013 law, for example, specifies bettors must be physically present in an authorized casino's sports lounge to place a wager. But Bonacic and other believe sports betting must be mobile - using smartphone apps - in order to compete with betting on the illegal black market.

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That law required the casinos to get approval from the state Gaming Commission before accepting bets on athletic events.

Rewriting those rules and providing for consumer protections, could be a time-consuming process, Sleight said.

On the other hand, others see state-level regulation as a more effective and preferable path to take. The Oneidas argue the compact under which they operate their three casinos allows them to offer any game that is legal in NY, without new state approvals.

After a ruling by the Supreme Court that deemed a law prohibiting sports betting to be unconstitutional, Oklahoma's native tribes will look to capitalize on the new opportunity, according to the Associated Press. The Senecas operate casinos in Buffalo, Niagara Falls and Salamanca.

The Oneidas have not clarified what they mean by "near future".

"There is a long history of a difference of opinion between the state of NY and the nations located within the boundaries of the state", Sleight said. "I would never want to guess on who might be right on that".

All that leaves bettors - and the casinos - in a waiting pattern. The four new non-Indian nation casinos are clearly hoping for some quick action.

With tribal casinos generating more than $31 billion a year in gross revenue, sports betting will add another source of revenue for states.

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