Against the backdrop of the start of a historic Supreme Court hearing to determine the constitutionality of a federal sports betting ban, comes the news that a New Jersey Congressman has introduced a new gaming bill. Media sources said that Congressman Frank Pallone Jr. (D-NJ) would be introducing a comprehensive gaming bill known as the Gaming Accountability and Modernization Enhancement Act, or GAME Act.
The GAME Act seeks a repeal of one of the United States’ most controversial acts, the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA). This is the same law that is being challenged by New Jersey’s government in the Supreme Court appeal that started up this week.
The bill also states that a “governmental entity is not subject to civil or criminal liability 6 under any provision of Federal law for engaging through 7 a gaming facility in gaming activity that is lawful under 8 the law of the State in which such person or governmental 9 entity engages in such activity.” This is as long as the state has consumer protection measures in place.
The Federal Trade Commission will be tasked to enforce the Act.
On Monday, the Supreme Court started hearing New Jersey’s appeal to allow it to offer legal sports betting, arguing that PASPA, which governs 46 out of the 50 states is unconstitutional.
This week, Pallone said in a released statement: “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 via a press release on Tuesday.”
“It is clear to me that PASPA is unconstitutional. I am hopeful that the Supreme Court will decide in New Jersey’s favor, and the GAME Act provides the necessary legal framework for states to move forward.”
This is not the first time that Pallone has tried to push a federal sports betting bill. In May this year, the GAME Act was introduced to Congress, however the climate at the time wasn’t positive enough to see it advance in the legal channels. The administration was wrapped up in presidential controversies such as Trump’s firing of FBI director James Comey and other issues. This time around, the US may be ripe for a change to its sports betting landscape.