Iowa should pursue legalized sports betting

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The Supreme Court ruled in a momentous 6-to-3 vote (Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Justice Sonia Sotomayor and Justice Stephen Breyer, dissenting) that under the U.S. Constitution's Tenth Amendment, the federal government can not "commandeer" a state legislature or its governor to enforce a federal law or policy.

The Supreme Court's ruling Monday authorizing state-sanctioned sports betting could have profound implications for a host of other issues. It did so by authorizing the federal government and any professional or amateur sports organization to bring a lawsuit against a state for a civil injunction against the activity.

In the just-completed legislative session, proponents of legalized sports betting in Iowa pushed for a new state law in anticipation of the Supreme Court decision, but those efforts were unsuccessful.

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Logically, then, if Congress cannot tell state governments not to adopt laws authorizing sports gambling, how can it instruct states not to adopt laws regarding gun control, marijuana legalization and any number of other matters across the political spectrum?

Across the United States, the underground sports betting economy is estimated to be worth at least $150 billion a year.

As the PlayUSA website demonstrates, there are 22 states that have already made provisions for legal sports betting, in expectation that either Congress or the Courts would blow-away PASPA.

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"Our neighboring states CT and NY are already engaging with legal changes, and we have a huge new casino opening in Springfield August 24th and there will be a lot of impications for them as well", said Lesser. Iowa Rep. Jake Highfill, R-Johnston, told The Des Moines Register on Monday he will, in fact, introduce a proposal when the Legislature convenes in January to allow betting on college and professional sports.

For almost 40 years, casinos have been part of our state's landscape. Sports betting produced a record $248.8 million in revenue for Nevada a year ago. Today, almost two dozen casinos produce an economic impact of some $1 billion each year.

Some are hoping that skins betting - a popular form of gambling for games like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive - will fall under the tarp of legalized sports gambling since it's also considered a tangent of the e-sports industry.

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