US Supreme Court to hear New Jersey sports betting appeal
27 Jun 2017
By Gary Trask
By Gary Trask
The Garden State's fight against the major sports leagues in the U.S. that began way back in 2012 got a rare glimpse of hope on Tuesday, when the U.S. Supreme Court announced it will hear New Jersey's appeal in its case to bring above-board sports betting to its casinos and racetracks.
The case could now be heard as soon as this fall in the nation's highest court, which will have to decide if the 25-year-old Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) is unconstitutional. The plaintiffs in the case are the National Football League, Major League Baseball, the National Hockey League and the National Collegiate Athletic Association. PASPA is a federal law that prohibits sports betting nationwide. When it was passed in 1993 it grandfathered in Nevada and allowed for limited forms of sports betting in Oregon, Delaware and Montana.
"The Supreme Court's decision today is welcome news," said Joe Asher, the CEO of William Hill US, which has over 100 sports betting locations in Nevada. "PASPA is a failed law, and now is the time for all parties, including the sports leagues, to come together and replace it with a regulatory framework that will bring sports betting out of the shadows and into the sunlight, creating well over 100,000 jobs and raising billions in tax revenue."
The American Gaming Association also released a statement this morning, claiming that PASPA has "failed to protect sports and fans" and is "fueling an unregulated $150 billion illegal gambling market."
"We are pleased the Supreme Court appears to have responded favorably to our arguments as to why they should hear this important case," the AGA statement continued. "And we are hopeful their engagement will provide further encouragement for Congress to take the steps necessary to create a regulated sports betting marketplace in the United States.
"The gaming industry, and the American Sports Betting Coalition, is committed to working with all relevant stakeholders to build a system that protects states' rights, fans and the integrity of sports."
Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr., who, along with Congressman Frank LoBiondo, introduced two bills that would provide for changes in the New Jersey sports gaming law, said in a statement that he applauds the Supreme Court for "taking on this case and potentially resolving a long history of hypocrisy and unfairness in federal law."
"The citizens of New Jersey overwhelmingly support legalized sports betting and acted in a referendum to show that support," he added. "Both Congress and the Supreme Court should respect these actions. Rather than continuing to allow criminal and offshore entities to reap the benefits of illegal gaming, there is now an opportunity for the Supreme Court to allow the democratic process in New Jersey to appropriately regulate sports gaming."
Congressman Pallone has long been a supporter of allowing sports gaming in New Jersey. Along with Congressman Frank LoBiondo, he introduced two bills that would provide for changes in the law that would allow sports gaming in New Jersey.
According to LegalSportsReport.com, New Jersey will have 45 days to file its opening brief and the leagues' response brief would be due 35 days after that. Under this tentative schedule, the reply brief would be due 14 October, and oral arguments would be scheduled for the fall.