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Supreme Court lifts ban on sports gambling, including esports

DraftKings to implement sports, esports betting on its fantasy sports platform

Yesterday, the United States Supreme Court overturned a law that banned sports betting in most states. The reversal additionally opens the door to esports betting, which fantasy sports platform DraftKings is ready to capitalize on.

The Professional and Amatear Sports Protection Act, or PASPA, was passed in 1992 and prohibited all states except Nevada from authorizing or sponsoring wagering on sports matches. Montana, Delaware, and Oregon were not entirely exempt, but were permitted to keep existing lotteries in place.

The reversal is the result of a four-year-long challenge from the state of New Jersey, which asserted that the regulation infringed on states' rights. The Supreme Court agreed yesterday in a 6-3 decision. With the law struck down, it still remains in the hands of individual states to pass laws permitting or regulating such betting.

In the past, esports has been retroactively included under PASPA, prohibiting gambling on the outcomes of esports matches. Other forms of video game-related gambling, such as skin gambling, did not fall under this law.

Now that the federal ruling has been overturned, at least one major company is making plans for both traditional sports betting and the newer frontier of esports betting. DraftKings released a statement on the Supreme Court ruling laying out its plans to bring sports betting to its existing platform, and included esports (both PC and mobile) in that outline. The specifics of how that might play out or what games would initially be included were not mentioned.

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Rebekah Valentine

Senior Staff Writer

Rebekah arrived at GamesIndustry in 2018 after four years of freelance writing and editing across multiple gaming and tech sites. When she's not recreating video game foods in a real life kitchen, she's happily imagining herself as an Animal Crossing character.