On Monday, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the state of New Jersey in a case that overturned a federal ban on sports gambling and made it a state-by-state issue, allowing each individual state to determine if it would legalize sports gambling.
It was a landmark decision, but also one that’s felt like it’s been a long time coming. Betting on sports is no longer taboo in the way it once was and the widespread discussion of lines, spreads, and totals has helped strip away the underground feel of it all. Offshore books are regularly cited by major publications, despite the somewhat shady gray area they occupy. Vegas books have always been the standard and have become more and more present in national sports coverage.
Basically, this was inevitable, and now it’s a matter of taking the battle to the state level where a number have already begun working on legislation — New Jersey will have its first sports book open by the end of the month. For sports leagues that spent decades fighting against sports gambling, the tune has changed, as the NBA and MLB have led the charge to support legalization with the caveat that they want a cut of the action.
NBA Hall of Famer and current TNT analyst Charles Barkley has never been shy about his affinity for gambling, on sports or at the tables, and joined the Dan Patrick Show on Tuesday to explain his take on the Supreme Court decision and how it’s the government finally realizing they can make money off of it all.