How the SCOTUS sports betting ruling could impact Alabama

How the SCOTUS sports betting ruling could impact Alabama
Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall says the state would have to pass a new law if it wants to allow sports betting. (Source: WSFA 12 News file photo)

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Early Monday morning the Supreme Court of the United States ruled a 1992 federal law unconstitutional. The law had allowed states like Nevada to have massive sports books.

Instead, under the ruling it will be up to each state to come up with its own set of sports betting rules. Some states, like New Jersey, West Virginia, and Mississippi, have already passed laws allowing them to set up Las Vegas style sports books in their states.

Alabama is not one of those states.

Attorney General Steve Marshall said in a statement:

"Today's U.S. Supreme Court decision is not about whether sports gambling should be legal, but whether States should have the right to decide that question for themselves.  In Alabama, sports gambling is already against the law and the Court ruling does not alter that fact."

There is no indication that a casino style sports betting has any momentum in the state. The impact may be much smaller.

"I know that's not something I will be taking up," said Sen. Tom Whatley, R-Lee.

Whatley has sponsored fantasy sports bills in the past in an attempt to legalize games like Fan Duel or DraftKings. Whatley said the legislation could help see fantasy sports games become a reality in Alabama once again.

"I think it removes one of the obstacles used against fantasy sports in the past, and that's what I am focused on I am not focused on the sports book" Whatley said.

Gubernatorial candidate Tommy Battle answered questions about the ruling on a Facebook live video. Battle said gambling is not a cure all for the state's budget issues, but he would not stand in the way of a vote from the people.

Gov. Kay Ivey didn't respond to a request for comment.

Mississippi though plans to take advantage. The casinos already existing in the southern part of the state will be expected to take up a casino style sports book.

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