By: CBS News, Associated Press
May 14, 2018
The sports world is reacting to the Supreme Court's decision to strike down a federal law that banned gambling on football, basketball, baseball and other sports in most states. Major League Baseball (MLB) issued a statement Monday saying the ruling will have "profound effects" on the league and that it's most important priority is protecting the integrity of our games."
MLB said it would continue supporting legislation "that creates air-tight coordination and partnerships between the state, the casino operators and the governing bodies in sports toward that goal."
Tony Clark, the head of the MLB Players Association, called the Supreme Court's ruling "monumental, with far-reaching implications for baseball players and the games we love."
On Monday, the Supreme Court ruled to strike down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act. The 1992 law barred state-authorized sports gambling with some exceptions. It made Nevada the only state where a person could wager on the results of a single game.
The National Football League (NFL) also reacted to the decision saying the league's "long-standing and unwavering commitment to protecting the integrity of our game remains absolute," according to ESPN. The NFL said it intends to call on Congress to "enact a core regulatory framework for legalized sports betting."
National Basketball Association (NBA) Commissioner Adam Silver said the league "remain[s] in favor of a federal framework that would provide a uniform approach to sports gambling in states that choose to permit it," adding that "the integrity of our game remains our highest priority."
Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, one of the leading proponents of striking down the law, welcomed the justices' decision:
A great day for the rights of states and their people to make their own decisions. New Jersey citizens wanted sports gambling and the federal Gov't had no right to tell them no. The Supreme Court agrees with us today. I am proud to have fought for the rights of the people of NJ.— Governor Christie (@GovChristie) May 14, 2018
New Jersey's Monmouth Park racetrack has already established a sports betting facility and said it plans to take bets "as soon as possible."
Dennis Drazin is chairman and CEO of Darby Development LLC, which operates the track. Drazin says the ruling could help the state's struggling horse racing industry.
Wall to wall TVs have now been installed at Monmouth Park in New Jersey as the racetrack readies to turn its sports bar into a sports book (�� by Bill Denver) pic.twitter.com/RW6VogdUNa— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) May 14, 2018
Alex Waldrop, president and CEO of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, says the horseracing industry "must rise to the challenges and seize the opportunities presented by this expansion of sports betting." Before the Supreme Court's ruling, horse racing was the only legal form of sports gambling widely available across the U.S. in person and online.
In New York, a representative for Batavia Downs Gaming said the decision will help grow jobs in western and central parts of the state, CBS affiliate WIVB-TV in Buffalo reports.
"Legislation to allow sports betting in New York State will help grow jobs in our brick and mortar locations through Western and Central New York, and will increase the significant community development contributions we provide to our municipalities," Batavia Downs Gaming CEO Henry Wojtaszek said in a statement.
He added, "We are looking forward to working with New York State officials to enable legislation that will allow this dynamic opportunity to become a reality."
Michael Nolan, COO at Batavia Downs Gaming, said the facility has been preparing for the decision. "We are confident we can get the product up and running quickly, smoothly, and professionally," Nolan said.