WASHINGTON (BP) – All 50 states are now free to sponsor gambling on sporting events. In a 6-3 ruling May 14, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a 1992 law that prevented state authorization of sports gambling. The decision – which reversed opinions by lower courts – means states may legalize and operate betting on professional and college sports.
It appears gambling on sporting events will soon become a reality beyond Nevada, which was exempted from the original law. The law also enabled Delaware, Montana and Oregon to have limited legal sports gambling.
Five states – Connecticut, Mississippi, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and West Virginia – already had enacted laws in preparation for a Supreme Court decision permitting legalization, according to ESPN. Legislators in another 14 states have introduced bills to authorize sports betting, ESPN reported.
Southern Baptist leaders warned there would be harmful consequences from legalized sports gambling.
“We will soon see an avalanche of pressure from multinational corporations to legalize sports betting at casinos and racetracks around the country,” said Travis Wussow, general counsel and vice president for public policy of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission.
“State leaders need to be prepared to tell the truth about the economic predation of casino gambling,” he told Baptist Press in written comments. “And pastors and church leaders need to be prepared to pastor their flock through the fallout that the court’s decision is sure to produce.”