TAMPA (FOX 13) - The Supreme Court on Monday struck down a federal law barring sports gambling, in a sweeping decision that could soon lead to legalized sports betting in dozens of states.
The Supreme Court ruled 6 to 3 to strike down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act. The 1992 law had barred gambling on football, basketball, baseball and other sports with some exceptions, like allowing people to wager on a single game only in Nevada.
The Supreme Court ruling now gives states the go-ahead to legalize sports betting if they want.
"The legalization of sports gambling requires an important policy choice, but the choice is not ours to make," the opinion by Justice Samuel Alito said.
"Congress can regulate sports gambling directly, but if it elects not to do so, each State is free to act on its own. Our job is to interpret the law Congress has enacted and decide whether it is consistent with the Constitution. PASPA is not,” the ruling said.
Tampa attorney and legal expert Anthony Rickman broke down what the Supreme Court decided.
"The opinion itself talks about state's rights a lot and that's the main crux of it is a state has the right to regulate and make laws that aren't promulgated in the Constitution," Rickman said.
Rickman also points out that gambling in Florida will not change overnight.
First of all, state lawmakers are out of session until next year. There is also an amendment on the November ballot that, if it passes, would require voter approval of any measure to expand gambling.
A trickier issue could be the deal Florida has in place with the Seminole Tribe, which reportedly pays $250 million for exclusive rights to most types of games. That contract could be voided if Florida expands gambling.
Rickman said there is also a strong Native American lobby in Tallahassee.
"You have the Indian tribe and the Seminole casinos and gambling already established and they want a lock on the industry," he said.
Marc Dunbar, an attorney who represents and lobbies for the gaming industry in Florida, believes sports betting is a natural fit in the Sunshine State.
“Florida has a perfect economy. We are a tourist-based economy, and sports wagering thrives in tourist-based economies," he said. “Sports gambling is going on in Florida right now. It is just being done illegally, or it’s being done on cruises to nowhere. That will continue, and there’s no benefit directly to the state or to regulated businesses for that activity.”
Florida Commissioner of Agriculture -- and gubernatorial candidate -- Adam Putnam disagrees.
"I've always been one who has said we don't need to expand the footprint of gambling in Florida. It's not who we are as a state," he said. "We're a family friendly vacation destination. We're a small-business oriented state. If I lived in the middle of the desert, Nevada, maybe I would grasp onto whatever straw or life raft somebody threw me, but we live in Florida and we've got unlimited opportunities and we don't need to sell our state short."
Information from FOX News was used in this report.