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Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

The Supreme Court yesterday struck down a federal ban on sports betting, with New Jersey expected to allow wagers in time for the NBA Finals.

Bottom line: There will be wide-ranging consequences that authors of the old rule could have never imagined, such as gambling on e-sports.

States will act before Congress. Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) last year introduced a consumer protection bill called The Game Act, but tells Axios that it was unable to gain momentum until SCOTUS ruled.

  • Pallone also doesn't think sports betting will significantly increase, arguing that gamblers have always found a way. Expect him to be surprised.

E-sports might be the big winner here, as the struck-down statute didn't define "sports."

  • Scott Cooley, a spokesman at sportsbook BetDSI, says: "This decision is going to send e-sports into another stratosphere. The offshore market has offered e-sports odds, futures and props for a handful of years. I believe you can bet on e-sports in Las Vegas occasionally, but the offerings are scant... One day it may be bigger than all of the traditional sports."
  • This could present a big market opportunity for Amazon, which owns e-sports streaming giant Twitch.
  • It also could create new cybersecurity costs and concerns, particularly if most of e-sports' financial gains/losses migrate away from the participants.

This is a lifeline to daily fantasy sports companies like DraftKings and FanDuel, both of which will quickly move into the "game results" betting business. It also eventually lets them drop the absurd claim that they aren't gambling platforms.

The NBA and other sports leagues will be emboldened to demand a piece of the action, but it remains unclear how they will go about it outside of their own arenas (MSG Casino?). If figured out, this could offset possible TV revenue declines. And, even if not, more sports betters should increase viewership.

There will be a boom in sports betting-related startups. One sports exec says he got 40 emails from VCs after yesterday's ruling.

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Americans shrug off Omicron, Axios-Ipsos poll finds — CDC director says number of U.S. Omicron cases "likely to rise."
  2. Vaccines: Omicron gives a shot to boosters — U.S. announces $400M for global COVID vaccine distribution — Vaccine mandates lose steam in the U.S. while Europe doubles down.
  3. States: Gov. Hochul will order some NY hospitals to halt elective surgeries — Nevada to impose insurance surcharge on unvaccinated state workers.
  4. World: EU drug regulator backs mixing COVID vaccines — Poor global equity likely in COVID pill access — CDC raises travel advisories for France, Portugal to highest level amid COVID surge.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.

Mark Meadows will stop cooperating with Jan. 6 panel, attorney says

Photo: Chris Kleponis/Polaris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows will no longer cooperate with the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, his attorney told Fox News Tuesday.

Why it matters: Meadows, who failed to appear before the panel last month, is believed to have insight into former President Trump's role in efforts to stop the certification of President Biden's election win.

Updated 6 hours ago - Economy & Business

The billionaire balloon

Data: World Inequality Report 2022; Chart: Axios Visuals

The super-rich are getting stupid rich: New data out today shows the share of global wealth held by the richest slice of humanity swelled by almost a full percentage point during the pandemic.

Driving the news: The top 0.01% of individuals now hold about 11% of the world's wealth, compared to just over 10% in 2020, according to the "World Inequality Report 2022," written by Lucas Chancel, Thomas Piketty, Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman.