Why the May 14 PASPA Decision was Sports Betting Independence Day

No elder Millennial in their youth could reasonably imagine there would come a day when they could walk down the street and get some marijuana, or place a sports bet on their phone, as easily and as legally as purchasing a bag of chips or six-pack of beer.

But today, in 18 states, the District of Columbia and Guam, recreational cannabis is exactly that convenient and accepted, with legal online sports betting not far behind.

This freedom in the cannabis world has come to be celebrated on April 20, aka, 4/20, derived from 4:20 p.m., the mysteriously famous time of day that's been code for ‘let’s go get high’.

The origin of 4:20 isn’t unanimously accepted, but the most likely story dates back to San Rafael, California, 1971 when a group of high schoolers would gather at that time and smoke around a statue of Louis Pasteur.

420 was code to that group of stoners, but as pot has become legalized, normalized, commercialized and apologized to for past slanderings, April 20th has come to be celebrated as an Independence Day of sorts, with celebrations and discounts at shops all across the country.

As recently as a couple of years ago, that same elder Millennial walking down the street to get his chips, beer — and now weed — could still never have dreamed he'd be able place legal wagers on live sporting events from the comfort and convenience of his mobile phone. And yet, here we are, with unobstructed online mobile sports betting legal in 14 states and most of the rest on the way… eventually.

While Independence Day for cannabis is obscured in arcane stoner lore, the proverbial Fourth of July for sports gambling is no mystery at all.

On May 14, 2018, PASPA was overturned in a watershed 6-3 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of the plaintiff in Murphy vs. NCAA, thereby paving the way for legalized sports gambling as we know it — and why we're all here — today. PASPA, of course, is an acronym for the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act.

MORE: Celebrate 5/14 Forever by scoring 5 x $100 risk-free bets from PointsBet Sportsbook

Though current New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy's name is forever attached to that Supreme Court PASPA decision, it was the characteristically ostentatious irascibility of his predecessor Chris Christie that set the wheels of change in motion, challenging the federal PASPA act as a violation of state's rights in New Jersey’s desire to legalize sports betting.

What began in New Jersey spread like wildfire throughout the country, though most Americans — especially in states that haven't yet embraced online betting —  remain remarkably unaware that PASPA was overturned.

5/14 is barely even recognized within the sports gambling community, but it won't stay that way for long, as propositions, referendums and initiatives will appear on more and more state ballots nationwide.

Battles are coming between many competing interests — tribal casinos vs. sportsbooks, moralistic politicians vs. gambling writ large, and states vying against one another for lucrative tax revenue and licensing fees.

At its core, Dimers.com is still your go-to place for the most scientifically based predictions thanks to our DimersBOT simulator that performs 10,000 simulations on every outcome to find the edges no handicapper with a two-bit opinion can match. But we are also committed to being the journalists, the watchdogs and the advocates the cause of universal, legalized online sports gambling needs right now.

It's in that spirit we are proud to launch the ‘5/14 Forever’ campaign, a yearlong-and-beyond series dedicated to covering the politics and legislation surrounding sports gambling, as well as the colorful stories that one day will make May 14 a day of independence everyone will know as surely as 4/20.

We welcome you to join us on this journey.

If you would like to join our team of freelance contributors, please email matt.hickman@dimers.com. Tell us your hometown, your favorite sports to write about and bet on, and why you love to bet on your mobile device.

Why not celebrate 5/14 Forever by securing yourself 5 $100 risk-free bets from PointsBet? Claim them ➡️ here ⬅️.


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