A historic decision by the US Supreme Court last month created the opportunity for individual states to legalize betting on sports such as football and basketball. We are now witnessing major changes taking place in the US sports betting industry, and these changes are sure to have a ripple effect on the world industry. For a decade now, the State of New Jersey has been fighting to allow sports gambling at its casinos and tracks. Up until now, lower courts have struck down their appeal, under pressure by major sports leagues, citing the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), a 1992 law that barred state-authorized sports gambling. Last year, however, the Supreme Court said that it would hear New Jersey’s appeal and in an iconic 6-3 ruling on May 14th, 2018, the court deemed that PASPA was unconstitutional. “The legalization of sports gambling requires an important policy choice, but the choice is not ours to make,” Justice Samuel Alito wrote. “Congress can regulate sports gambling directly, but if it elects not to do so, each state is free to act on its own. Our job is to interpret the law Congress has enacted and decide whether it is consistent with the constitution. Paspa is not.” What does Supreme Court ruling mean for states? Up until now, Nevada was the only state where players could bet on the results of a single game. The new ruling means that states are essentially allowed to pass their own laws that could legalize and regulate sports betting. Research firms estimate that around 30 states will be offering sports betting within the next five years. Estimates have it that between $50 billion and $450 billion wagers are placed illegally each year by Americans. States are eager to get a share of some of this revenue, although analysts are warning that these numbers should not blind authorities and that they should actually temper some of the rhetoric of huge windfalls expected from sports betting revenues. In addition, states will now be able to regulate and provide consumer protections to players who participate in the sports betting market. Effect on Online Gambling Many believe that the end of PASPA could have a positive effect on the international online gambling industry at large. At least 18 states have created or are in the process of creating legislation to introduce online gambling at present. Last year, the director of the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, David Rebuck predicted: “If we win sports wagering, online gaming will go to every state that adopts sports betting. As soon as sports wagering is legalized, online gambling will follow right behind it.” Companies in the UK and throughout Europe are already eying entry the US gambling market, while those who have their foot in the door have seen their share prices rise significantly.