Walker says Supreme Court’s sports gambling decision will not affect Wisconsin

Walker says Supreme Court’s sports gambling decision will not affect Wisconsin

On Monday, the Supreme Court struck down a 1992 federal law that prohibited all states except Nevada from allowing sports betting.

New Jersey led the lawsuit, with the support of 18 other states that want to use sports gambling for college and professional teams to bring in more tourism and tax revenue.

A representative with the Wisconsin Department of Administration said “sports gaming is prohibited by the Wisconsin Constitution, state law, and is not allowed under the state tribal compacts.”

“Between the constitution and the compacts that are in place already in the state of Wisconsin, it really won’t have a bearing one way or the other,” said Gov. Scott Walker.

But some in the sports community hope that, after seeing the success of other states, Wisconsin will follow.

“There’s a lot of hurdles that it has to go through. Wisconsin is one of the more difficult states to pass this kind of legislation, but if the people in the state want it, if it’s something that everyone gets behind, it could definitely happen,” said Peter Schoenke, chairman of the Fantasy Sports Trade Association.

Schoenke is the president of the Madison-based fantasy sports news company Rotowire. Information on the company’s website is used by sports betters and fantasy players.

He said the Supreme Court’s decision could bring more people to the Rotowire website.

“At the end of the day, if it makes sports fans more into sports, they’re going to consume more sports stuff, information, products. That’s good for me and our business and largely the sports world,” said Schoenke.

The 6-3 ruling by the Supreme Court lets states decide if they want to make sports gambling legal, as well as in what capacity, such as online, in casinos or in sports bars.

For Wisconsin to allow sports gambling in casinos, tribes would need to renegotiate their compacts with the governor.

“It could happen. If there’s a buck to be made, somebody will figure out a way to do it,” said Representative Tyler Vorpagel, R – Plymouth.

Vorpagel said he is glad the Supreme Court ruled the way it did, but he doesn’t believe Wisconsin will lift the prohibition anytime soon. He has previously proposed legislation to legalize fantasy sports betting in Wisconsin.

“I understand the complex political issue that it is,” he said.

Vorpagel and Schoenke do not want to see fantasy gaming and sports gambling lumped together in future regulations.

“The distinctions are still there. Fantasy is a game of skill. It runs under different laws. Sports betting is a little bit different so it gets kind of complicated and we’ll have to see how the states react,” said Schoenke.

Vorpagel said he is still working on a bill to make it clear that fantasy betting is legal in Wisconsin.