Sports Betting and College Athletes - Carlos GaminoBy Carlos Gamino

Sports betting is now legal, according to the U.S. Supreme Court. In a May 14, 2018 ruling, the Court struck down a law that prevented states from legalizing sports betting – and Justice Samuel Alito said that the former law was unconstitutional.

The law, said Alito, “unequivocally dictates what a state legislature may do and not do.” He said that as a result, state legislatures were “under the direct control of Congress.”

Congress can directly regulate sports gambling, but it can’t order states to regulate it.

But the National Football League wants Congress to step in. In a statement issued the same day, the NFL said, “The NFL’s long-standing and unwavering commitment to protecting the integrity of our game remains absolute. Congress has long recognized the potential harms posed by sports betting to the integrity of sporting contests and the public confidence in these events. Given that history we intend to call on Congress again, this time to enact a core regulatory framework for legalized sports betting.”

Some people believe that collegiate athletes are at-risk of throwing games because they’re vulnerable to corruption – and if they get caught doing so, they can be thrown out of school and lose a promising career.

The original law was named the Bradley Act after its main promoter, Bill Bradley – who himself is a former basketball player – and it’s now gone. Bradley, who served three terms as a U.S. senator, isn’t happy about the decision.

“I regret today’s decision,” Bradley told NPR. “I think the court ignored the impact of their ruling on sport. I think they’ve turned every baseball player, basketball player, football player into a roulette chip. There’s nothing to prevent betting on high school or even grade-school games with this ruling. The only winner here are casinos, in my opinion.”

What Do You Think?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the Supreme Court’s strike-down of the Bradley Act. Do you think sports betting should be legalized in Wisconsin, and do you believe amateur athletes are being put at unnecessary risk?

Share your thoughts on my Facebook page or join the conversation on Twitter.

Carlos Gamino