It is probably the end of the road for New Jersey’s efforts through the US Supreme Court to legalize sports betting within its borders, but the state is still hopeful that a law being pushed by the American Gaming Association, allowing individual states to determine their own sports betting laws, will eventually pass.
In late May, the US Solicitor General’s office issued a statement, recommending that the Supreme Count not hear the Garden State’s appeal to legalize sports betting. The relatively long brief contends that the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) does not violate the 10th Amendment and therefore New Jersey’s rights are not being violated by being forced to remain within the limitations of this federal law.
The US Solicitor General’s statement has a lot of clout and it stands to reason that the US Supreme Court will not hear New Jersey’s appeal.
The question is: What now for New Jersey?
The state is now pending its hopes on a new federal sports betting law that would overturn PASPA. The GAME Act (the Gaming Accountability and Modernization Enhancement Act) was introduced by Rep. Frank Pallone.
“Despite the federal gaming laws in place today, Americans are betting up to $400 billion a year on sporting events alone,” said Pallone, who is a ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. “It’s time to recognize that the laws are outdated, and the GAME Act will modernize them by increasing transparency, integrity, and consumer protections.”
“The point is allowing sports betting to be legal in states like New Jersey who want it,” he added in an interview.
The American Gaming Association (AGA), is pushing hard for the GAME Act. The association’s CEO Geoff Freeman noted that the 25 year ban on sports betting has fueled a thriving industry worth $150 billion, and one that deprives the country of revenue.
He said that the casino gaming industry was building a “diverse coalition of stakeholders who will work with Congress and the Trump Administration to lift the unconstitutional ban on sports betting and give states the freedom to regulate this increasingly popular American pastime.”
Recent statistics show that only 40% of Americans were aware that sports betting was illegal in most states. Most of the population supports the legalization of sports betting, and only 35% oppose the idea. Should sports betting be legalized, the survey showed, around 28 million Americans would take this up as a regular pastime.