Could New Solicitor General Bring US Sports Betting?

NJ Sports BettingPresident Donald Trump recently nominated Noel Francisco to be his next Solicitor General, and analysts in the US gambling industry are wondering how this could impact the future of a legal nationwide sports betting framework. As part of his role as representing the federal government’s executive branch in Supreme Court matters, Francisco will be called upon to give legal brief in the pending New Jersey sports betting case.

The Garden State is seeking to break out of the shackles of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act that essentially bans all states (except four) from betting on sports. Despite numerous attempts at practically every legal level to have PASPA overturned in New Jersey, the state has not yet been successful. The Supreme Court is due to hear New Jersey’s appeal later this year, and the Solicitor General’s influential brief could have an impact on the results.

“The Solicitor General is colloquially referred to as the ‘Tenth Justice’ because of his or her regular appearances before the Supreme Court and trusted status as a litigant,” said Adam Feldman, a Supreme Court researcher at Columbia Law School, regarding the potential influence of Francisco on the outcome of New Jersey’s appeal.

Francisco’s opinions regarding sports betting in the United States are not publicly known, although some analysts believe that he mixes in circles which could positively influence New Jersey’s rights to govern its own sports betting industry. For example, Francisco is a close friend of Senator Tom Cruz who is well known for his fight for states to decide their own fates.

Recently, Donald Trump was asked about his opinion regarding the legalization of sports betting in the United States. Trump agreed that a lot of thought had to go into the matter, but the good news is that he didn’t shoot down the idea altogether.

“I would be talking to [sports league commissioners], and we’ll see how they feel about it,” he was quoted on saying in a radio interview on Superbowl Sunday. “I’d also get the input from lots of law enforcement officials, because, obviously, expanded legalized sports betting is a big step.”

“So we wouldn’t do it lightly, I can tell you that. It will be studied very carefully,” he added.

Also commenting on the future of sports betting was Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred who said that the MLB was re-examining its stance on gambling. “It’s a conversation that’s ongoing with the owners,” he said.

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