Supreme Court to Hear PASPA Case on December 4thOctober 10, 2017 12:12 pm
In 2013, the New Jersey US Circuit Court of Appeals shot down the state’s challenge to the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), a federal law that since 1992 has allowed Nevada, as well as Oregon, Delaware, and Montana to offer legal sports betting in the country. On December 4th, however, New Jersey will have its case reviewed by the US Supreme Court, with a positive outcome opening the flood gates for other states to legalize their own sports betting industries, and potentially reap millions of dollars in extra revenues.
Once the US Supreme Court hears the arguments, a discussion will subsequently take place behind closed doors, and should a majority decision be reached, with at least 5 of the 9 justices ruling in favor of New Jersey, then the state would have finally successfully concluded a process which started after NJ State Senator Raymond Lesniak filed his initial lawsuit in the US District Court for the District of New Jersey back in March of 2009.
One important aspect of the Garden State’s legal fight relates to the 10th Amendment, which states that “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” Encouragingly, over the past four decades several decisions taken by the Supreme Court have held up the amendment as being designed to limit, and not increase, the federal government’s ability to “commandeer” a state’s legislative process.
It would also appear that the country as a whole has developed an increasing appetite to see sports betting legalized, too, with a poll carried out by the University of Massachusetts and The Washington Post finding that 55% of participants were in favor of either amending or repealing te federal PASPA law.
According to a study produced by Eilers & Krejcik Gaming, a win by New Jersey would likely see up to 32 states then legalize their own sports betting markets within a 5 year period, with a newly legalized market generating around $6 billion each year by the year 2022. Commenting on the case earlier this year, the American Gaming Association (AGA) Director of Media Relations, Steve Doty stated:
“This law continues to fail and is driving a $150 billion illegal sports betting market. AGA remains confident sports fans will have a legalised, regulated sports market to safely wager in within the coming years. We look forward to the court’s decision.”