NJ sports betting case: How we got here and what happens next

Supreme Court Taking Up Sports Betting Case

GMA's newly expanded Sports Betting division, headed by John English, Managing Director of Sports Betting and Technology, produced the white paper entitled "An Examination of Sports Betting in America & Forecast of Revenues by State" to highlight the current status of the sports betting market in the US, the process being undertaken to overturn the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), hurdles the industry will face, political climate, and revenue potential for a well regulated sports betting industry. All that's standing in its way: A 25-year-old federal law that bars betting on sports in most states.

Olson acknowledged that the federal government may pre-empt state activities like allowing sports gambling under its powers to regulate to commerce but, he asserted, only when it actually imposes a comprehensive regulatory scheme of its own that would render state actions inconsistent.

In this November 30, 2017, photo, betting slips are seen on a table at the Monmouth Park racetrack in West Long Branch, N.J. With banks of TVs tuned to all-sports stations and a spacious bar, the lounge a the racetrack is a sports gamblers' paradise-in-waiting. And Justice Stephen Breyer said Congress has not set any clear federal policy on sports betting, other than telling the states what to do, reported NBC News. The American Gaming Association estimates that Americans illegally wager about $150 billion on sports each year.

"PASPA is a direct command to the states without any effort to regulate sports wagering", Olson told the justices.

A 1992 federal law made sports gambling illegal in all but a few states that had already authorized such wagering: Nevada, Delaware, Montana, and Oregon.

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New Jersey has spent millions of dollars in legal fees trying to legalize sports betting. In passing the law, Congress gave New Jersey a yearlong window to authorize sports betting at its casinos, but the state didn't act.

"It's important to New Jersey and 49 others states, this is a states rights issue", said New Jersey Governor Chris Christie outside the Supreme Court steps on Monday.

The controversy started in 2011 when New Jersey voters approved a measure to legalize sports betting to help the casino industries in a faltering economy. In 2014, New Jersey tried a different tactic by repealing laws prohibiting sports gambling at casinos and racetracks. Sports leagues challenged the law citing the 1992 law, and they won in federal court.

"Today's argument before the Supreme Court showed there is a serious question as to whether PASPA violates the Constitution and whether New Jersey even violated PASPA in the first place", Pallone said.

A decision is expected by the end of June.

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