The U.S. Supreme Court delivered some groundbreaking news to sports fans this morning as they struck down a federal ban on sports gambling, leaving the decision to individual states.
Prior to the ruling today, a 6-3 decision in favor of the ban being unconstitutional, the U.S. Government made an exception for Las Vegas to provide sports gambling options, which were used by American citizens from across the country.
Early on, it appears that Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Mississippi could be leading the way in being the first states to provide sports gambling options in their states, according to this map tweeted out by Kentucky Sports Radio’s Matt Jones.
Mississippi and West Virginia already ahead of us on ability to do sports gambling. This map shows where the money will go if we don’t make a move pic.twitter.com/Hyh63IHm4i— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) May 14, 2018
So what does this mean for Kentucky Athletics and the state as a whole?
It depends on how the state proceeds with the news.
Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin has been adamantly opposed to expanded gaming in the state, and it’s unclear how the legislature plans to proceed with today’s news. The General Assembly recently finished their 2018 session and unless a special session is called (the chances of that occurring are slim), Kentucky’s legislative branch could take up the issue at the earliest in Jan. 2019.
A bill was introduced this session, but gained little traction; however, that was in January when it was still up in the air how the Supreme Court would rule on the case.
If Kentucky proceeds with allowing sports gambling, it changes things for the University of Kentucky Athletics. Players probably have a little added pressure, but nothing game-changing. However, the NCAA will have to step up in terms of officiating, due to added influence from outside sources.
And for those of you who enjoy betting on Kentucky games, it would be a ton easier as opposed to going online and dealing with often-shady third parties.
The NCAA released this statement earlier.
Statement from the NCAA’s chief legal officer, Donald Remy: pic.twitter.com/WY3PsXWZGh— Mitch Sherman (@mitchsherman) May 14, 2018
It will be very interesting to see how the NCAA proceeds and how individual schools proceed with regard in trying to make money if sports gambling is allowed in this state.
If Kentucky opts not to allow sports gambling, those interested in partaking in gambling likely wont have far to go with West Virginia looking to become an early leader. Expect Indiana and Illinois to get in on the action, and Ohio as well.
If other states around Kentucky opt to allow it, the state could lose a great deal of taxable dollars.
Stay tuned, because there will be a lot more information come out with what this will look like in the near future.