Support continues to pour in for New Jersey’s attempts to lift a federal ban on sports betting, and its argument to the Supreme Court that the ban violates the US 10th amendment. New Jersey Rep. Frank Pallone Jr filed a brief with the Supreme Court to defend the Garden State’s appeal to legalize sports betting, while the powerful American Gaming Association did the same last week.
Frank Pallone, the top Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, has been instrumental in pushing for legislation that allows individual states to legalize sports betting.
Pallone wrote in his brief that “by ordering New Jersey to maintain prohibitions on sports gambling that is state legislature has considered and repealed before, Congress is coercing the State of New Jersey to govern according to Congress’s instructions.”
On Tuesday last week, the American Gaming Association entered a 26 page amicus brief, calling for the end to the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), a law that dates back to 1992. According to the AGA, PASPA “prevents states and tribal sovereign government states from repealing or amending laws that their citizens no longer support.”
In June this year, the US Supreme Court surprised the industry by agreeing to hear New Jersey’s challenge to the federal ban on sports betting. New Jersey’s efforts to introduce a legalized and regulated sports wagering industry in the state have been continuously thwarted by sporting authorities, namely the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), the National Basketball Association (NBA), the National Hockey League (NHL), Major League Baseball (MLB) and the National Football League (NFL).
The hearing will begin in October this year, and has already attracted plenty of attention. It is expected that the Supreme Court will hand down its decision sometime next year.
In its brief, the American Gaming Association stated that the ban on federal sports betting has, in its opinion, failed. The association estimates that Americans illegally wager over $150 billion each year on local sporting events. It showed that earlier this year, Americans wagered an estimated $15 billion on the Super bowl and the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament alone.
“97% of those bets were made illegally,” pointed out the association.
There is cautious optimism that the Supreme Court will vote in New Jersey’s favor. Besides the AGA and Rep. Pallone, 18 individual states have entered their briefs in support of the state’s appeal.