Regulating Sports Wagering

46 Pages Posted: 9 May 2019 Last revised: 10 Apr 2020

Date Written: April 11, 2019


The Supreme Court decision in Murphy v. National Collegiate Athletic Association has opened a door that has remained closed for more than a quarter century, allowing states to begin legalizing sports gaming. The excitement of state lawmakers seeking a new way to generate revenue is palpable through the more than 25 different bills that have been introduced to legalize sports betting since the May 2018 Supreme Court decision. In addition to the interest shown by state lawmakers, Senators Orrin Hatch and Charles Schumer introduced a federal sports gambling bill. The desire to generate revenue for states via a source other than new taxes is understandable; however, there has been a rush in many states to implement sports wagering schemes that either provide maximum benefit to the state, while trying to be first in the region offering sports betting, and seemingly neglecting wholesale objectives such as recapturing money from sports betting’s vast $150 billion black market. The regulation of sports betting is a complicated topic often involving state, tribal, and federal governments. The article discusses the challenges of regulating sports betting at the state, tribal, and federal levels, before identifying and suggesting best practices for regulation in the space and reviewing possible alternative schemes for regulation.

Keywords: sports betting, gambling, federalism, regulation, policy

JEL Classification: 00, K10, K14, K33, K40, K49, L50, L59, L63, L80, L83, L86, L89, O34

Suggested Citation

Holden, John, Regulating Sports Wagering (April 11, 2019). 105 Iowa Law Review 575 (2020), Available at SSRN:

John Holden (Contact Author)

Oklahoma State University ( email )

201 Business Building
Stillwater, OK 74078-0555
United States

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