High Court Strikes Down Federal Sports Betting Ban

SCOTUS Feigns Federalism in Sports Betting Decision

- One Minnesota lawmaker is ready to unveil his plan to put Minnesota on a path toward legalized sports betting after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday to strike down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act.

Justice Samuel Alito, a New Jersey native, wrote the court's opinion in the case.

This clearly is a huge development as it pertains to the National Football League, one of the most heavily bet American sports - previously both legally in places such as Las Vegas and illegally.

"Our job is to interpret the law Congress has enacted and decide whether it is consistent with the Constitution", the court said in its decision. In its decision, the Supreme Court notes that the U.S. Congress can regulate sports betting if it wishes to do so, but that if it does not, individual states will be free to allow sports gambling on their own.

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As previously reported, New Jersey has expressed confidence regarding the upcoming Supreme Court ruling on the legalization of sports betting.

The ruling will also pave the way for new advertising dollars to enter the market.

The proposed law also permits internet and mobile sports betting.

"Well, we're going to have some legalized sports gambling in a number of states", said Mark Conrad, Associate Professor of Law and Ethics at Fordham University via phone interview Monday. "In light of these developments, we do not think that Congress would want the advertising provisions to stand if the remainder of PASPA must fall". But unexpected events and other uncontrollable factors make sports gambling more volatile. There were four exemptions: Nevada, Delaware, Oregon and Montana, all of which had already established gambling laws at the time.

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Geoff Freeman, president of the American Gaming Association industry group, welcomed the decision, saying it favors "an open, transparent and responsible market for sports betting".

"The question now is whether Congress will leave the states to make their own choices or will now try to enact some kind of federal regulation of sports betting", Vladeck added. "Sports wagering should be treated no differently". New Jersey saw the case as a states' right issue and argued that the 1992 law is unconstitutional because it violates the so called "anti commandeering" principle of the 10th Amendment that bars Congress from ordering states to participate in a federal regulatory scheme. It argued taking its laws off the books was different from authorizing sports gambling.

More recently, it tried to get out of the ban, hoping for increased state revenue, but the state repeatedly lost in the lower court. According to ESPN, Mississippi, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and CT are all states that recently passed bills that allow them to join New Jersey in acting quickly in response to the Supreme Court ruling.

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

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