CLOSE

SportsPulse: Supreme Court reporter Richard Wolf breaks down the SCOTUS ruling on sports betting in the United States, and what it could mean for the future of gambling in professional and college sports. USA TODAY Sports

LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

[Editor's note: This article has been clarified to specify the exact degree of limitations on games of chance in Iowa.]

Thanks to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling Monday, the future of sports betting in Iowa could change radically in the coming years.

In short, the choice to have legalized sports betting now resides with the states.

But what do you need to know right now? Here's a quick overview:

How soon might Iowa offer sanctioned sports betting?

The short answer is: not before 2019.

In Iowa, the House took up the subject this past legislative session, but no official action was taken beyond it advancing out of a subcommittee in February. The 2018 legislative session concluded earlier this month. Iowa's legislative leaders were reluctant to proceed without a decision by the high court.

So sports gambling within the state will have to wait until at least next year, although legislators have already signaled the topic will be high on their priorities list.

MORE:Iowa will again consider sports betting in 2019 Legislative session

West Virginia is among 17 states that have passed bills or have bills making their way through their state legislatures to legalize sports betting upon the Supreme Court's ruling, according to the American Gaming Association. States acting now could have laws in place within 90 days.

The Chicago Tribune reports research firms are saying that 32 states would likely offer sports betting within five years.

THE NATIONAL ANGLE:What's the big picture on sports betting timelines?

Can I already legally bet on certain contests?

Yes, but to a strictly limited and specific degree. Iowa has long held exceptions for horse racing and other pari-mutuel wagering, and what it calls "social gambling" — think amusement park and carnival games, darts, bingo, raffles and even formally organized March Madness pools.

But places wishing to conduct these events need a special social gambling license from the state. Social gambling participants cannot wager more than $5, and the maximum winnings to all participants in the pool cannot exceed $500. Liquor establishments cannot officially conduct the pools.

Poker tournaments are big no-nos. And even wagers between individuals "who are together for purposes other than gambling" are limited to $50 over a 24-hour period.

Under those regulations, remember that your those informal, big-money office pools on the NCAA Tournament or the Super Bowl with your friends (and even family!) would almost certainly remain illegal — even if new legislation is passed. That's a small slice of the $150 billion gambled annually on sports in the U.S., of which 97 percent is bet illegally, according to the AGA.

MORE:Could Iowa's NCAA events future be in jeopardy if it legalizes sports gambling?

What about daily fantasy sports games, like FanDuel and DraftKings?

You'll have to wait on the Legislature.

Currently, Iowa is one of five states (along with Arizona, Louisiana, Montana and Washington) that has specific legislation banning games that involve any manner of chance. Nevada, Idaho, Hawaii and Alabama also either have strict limitations in place regulating such as FanDuel and DraftKings, or the services have left the states entirely on their own.

Any changes will require the rewriting of Section 725 of the Iowa Code, which currently outlaws this variety of sports betting "for any sum of money."

Aren't pro sports leagues wanting in on the action?

The National Basketball Association and Major League Baseball have pushed states to adopt the idea of a 1 percent sports integrity fee that would be taken out of all sports bets before government taxes and given to the leagues. They've pitched the idea as a way to police point-shaving and other gambling-related corruption and were formally registered in opposition to the most recent bill to make its way through the Iowa Legislature.

Most states aren't buying the concept, however. Iowa legislators did not include an integrity fee as part of their proposal this past session.

What was the old law, anyway?

The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) was signed into law by President George H.W. Bush in 1992 and went into effect in January 1993. Nevada — the only state at the time the bill became law that had widespread state-sponsored sports bettors — and three other states with more limited betting (Oregon, Delaware and Montana) were grandfathered in.

The act didn’t outlaw sports betting, because that was already illegal. Rather, it banned states — outside those given exemptions — from regulating (and taxing) sports betting.

Could new federal laws make things more complicated?

Sports and gambling law attorney Daniel Wallach told USA TODAY Sports that new federal legislation could come well after many states have already started taking bets.

"At some point, if the legislation starts to diverge from state to state and, more importantly, the leagues don't get what they want at the state level, I think you will see Congress jump into the fray and pass some kind of legislation to create more uniformity across the country," Wallach said.

Currently, Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) proposed the Gaming Accountability and Modernization Enhancement (GAME) Act more than a year ago, but it hasn’t even been considered by a committee. Part of the GAME Act would mandate consumer protections, including a ban on underage betting, and establish safeguards against compulsive gambling.

USA TODAY Sports contributed to this report.

LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE
Read or Share this story: https://dmreg.co/2rGGOva