Thursday, 15 November, 2018

Gambling on Sports Legal

Supreme Court makes sports betting a possibility nationwide Gambling on Sports Legal
Patty Aguilar | 14 May, 2018, 18:11

The Supreme Court of the United States ruled the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) unconstitutional Monday, opening the door for legalized sports gambling across the nation.

The court's decision came in a case from New Jersey, which has fought for years to legalize gambling on sports at casinos and racetracks in the state.

In 2012, with voters' support, New Jersey lawmakers passed a law allowing sports betting, directly challenging the 1992 federal law which says states can't "authorize by law" sports gambling. Other states were given a year to opt in, but none acted in time. Sports leagues challenged the law citing the 1992 law, and they won in federal court.

Christie appealed lower court rulings striking down the state law as a violation of that law, which effectively prohibited sports gambling in all states except Nevada and, to a limited extent, Delaware, Montana and Oregon.

Either ruling could start legal sports gambling in New Jersey within two weeks of the ruling.

New Jersey has lost several rulings along the way, and the case previously had not been heard by the Supreme Court in 2014.

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More than a dozen states had supported New Jersey, which argued that Congress exceeded its authority when it passed the law barring states from authorizing sports betting.

"The majority relied upon the "anti-commandeering" doctrine, holding that Congress can choose federal policies, but can't dictate to states what their own policies must be", Vladeck said. The four major professional sports leagues and the NCAA sued, and the state lost in court.

West Virginia and 17 other states, and the governors of three more, sided with New Jersey in the case.

Lawyers for the leagues responded that the federal law does not run afoul of the Constitution because it doesn't force the states to take any action or become a part of any federal regulatory scheme.

The aforementioned states that also have some sort of established legislative pathway to a regulated sports betting market are certain to pick up the pace in light of the decision.

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