Will New Jersey be heading into the New Year with the gift of a legal sports betting industry? From The Washington Post’s SCOTUS reporter comes the news that December 4th has been set as the date that the US Supreme Court will hear the oral arguments in New Jersey’s appeal to have the nationwide ban against sports betting lifted.
The Garden State is seeking to repeal its own laws so that a legalized and regulated sports betting industry can finally come to New Jersey. The state won the right to appeal rulings against it, brought against the state by major North American professional sports leagues and the NCAA. New Jersey has argued all along that the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) is unconstitutional, saying that if a state wants to change its own laws, then it should be allowed to.
While the hearing has been set for December, there is a very slim chance that the Supreme Court will actually reach a final decision by the end of the year. A more realistic prediction is that a decision will be made in the first half of 2018.
Ruling in New Jersey’s favor will be a huge win – not only for the state, but also for other states in the US. It stands to reason that many other states will move towards legalizing their own sports wagering industries. A recent report predicted that up to 32 states could legalize sports betting in one way or another by 2023 if the federal ban is lifted by the Supreme Court. The Eilers & Krejcik Gaming report reads: “Our base case for the US regulated sports betting market by 2023 calls for 32 states to offer regulated sports betting, with varying approaches to availability and the land based/mobile question, resulting in a market worth $6.03 billion in annual revenue.”
According to the report, the US’s current market at offshore sports betting sites is worth tens of billions of dollars – untaxed dollars that are sent to these sites and which could readily serve local governments better.