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Why is this taking effect now?

The social and political landscape has changed dramatically over the last few decades from marijuana regulation to immigration policy, and now sports betting. With the interesting constitutional question—"Does the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) violate the Constitution by prohibiting states from authorizing sports gambling?"—this was a natural moment for the Supreme Court to make a decision. Sports betting itself has become normalized in the public consciousness. Newspapers are regularly printing the daily point spread for professional and college games, and sports television programs spend hours discussing the favorites, the underdogs, and the over/under, all betting terms that, years ago, would have been considered the parlance of backroom bookies.

Will the SCOTUS decision impact small business?

The most immediate impact will obviously be for those small businesses that are connected in some way with the sports or gambling industries, or for those who have some role serving state government. Those states that choose to legalize it will need to set up some kind of regulating system and those systems will need support in many different facets - payments, software solutions, data security, etc. This can be a boom for small businesses in these markets. Businesses in other industries are less plainly affected by this decision, though any business whose employees have a March Madness pool can tell you the risks of lost productivity from increased opportunities for gambling.

The important thing to remember about this case though is that it does NOT automatically legalize sports betting. It strikes down a federal law that was preventing states from legalizing and regulating sports betting on their own terms. So, whether people will be able to legally bet on sports will depend entirely on their state. For most states, any legal sports betting will probably come in 2019 or 2020. Lawmakers will take their time figuring out the logistics and rules that will need to be in place if they even want to allow gambling on sports in the first place. Notably, some states have explicitly said that they have no intention of legalizing the practice. It’s also important to remember that this decision only impacts intrastate gambling, not interstate gambling, which is still illegal under the Federal Wire Act.

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Rocket Lawyer has all the resources you need for setting up your business, including incorporation services and business contracts. If you still have questions, you can ask a lawyer today.

This article contains general legal information and does not contain legal advice. Rocket Lawyer is not a law firm or a substitute for an attorney or law firm. The law is complex and changes often. For legal advice, please ask a lawyer.

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