Will the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn PASPA impact the Triple Crown betting situation?
The US Supreme Court’s recent 6-3 majority decision to overturn the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA) shook up the sports betting world earlier this week, and there is really no getting around it.
However, things are business as usual for horseplayers looking to bet on the Triple Crown, so all the horse racing fans out there looking to wager money on Justify to become the 13th horse to win the coveted prize don’t have anything to worry about. Unlike other forms of sports betting, horse racing has always enjoyed a certain privileged status – fitting enough for what has been as “the Sport of Kings” since time immemorial. Betting on horses and races has a longstanding tradition going back millennia (that we know of), so it only makes sense that the US government would issue federal laws protecting the sport from the highest level on down.
Unlike other forms of sports betting, which had been prohibited in 46 states for a quarter of a century by PASPA, horse racing wagering and the outlets at which to enjoy the hobby, have been widely legal at the federal level since the 1978 passage of the Federal Interstate Horse Racing Act (IHRA) and at the state level even further back. The IHRA was approved by the US Congress and signed into law in the late ‘70s in order to coincide with the arrival and mass adoption of new technologies like simulcast (basically a live broadcast of a horse racing event), which served to make live horse betting at off-track locations even more readily available to the masses.
Also unlike PASPA, which was the subject of ridicule from sports fans, who simply avoided the ban on sportsbooks outside of the Las Vegas Strip and made use of legal offshore sports betting websites based in foreign countries, and was hated by lawmakers unable to tax the estimated $150 billion - $250 billion “gray market” sportsbook industry, the IHRA is widely popular.
The IHRA only further increased its relevance after a year 2000 amendment to the law clarified the situation regarding legal horse betting taking place over the internet. Adding further contrast to the good sense of the IHRA with laws like the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 and even the Interstate Wire Act of 1961, both of which essentially put the kibosh on online sportsbooks from setting up shop inside the United States.
The main takeaway is this: if you can’t find a legal means of betting on the Triple Crown winner then you must not be looking hard enough. You can bet at the races today, when Baltimore’s Pimlico Race Course is set to host the 143rd Preakness Stakes, you can bet at any number of off-track betting locations from sports bars to cardrooms around the country, you can wager via simulcast at many racetracks nationwide and you can even bet online.
Finally, don’t forget those aforementioned legal offshore sports betting sites either, as the racebooks at sites like Bovada, BetOnline, SportsBetting, BetDSI and 5Dimes often have better odds and more betting options than brick-and-mortar ‘books. Savvy bettors have plenty to choose from when it comes to betting on horse racing today, so our advice is to make the most of your good luck at legal betting sites.
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