Legal Sports Betting Is Coming To US, As New Jersey Wins Supreme Court Case

It’s game on for sports betting in New Jersey, and perhaps the rest of the country as well.
The state of New Jersey won its US Supreme Court case, as a majority of justices announced that the federal ban on sports wagering is unconstitutional.
More about NJ’s backstory sports betting and the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act here. Formerly, single-game wagering was authorized in the united states only via the Nevada sports betting industry.
Here’s the conclusion of the majority opinion:
The legalization of sport gambling requires an important policy choice, but the choice isn’t ours to create. Congress can control sports gambling directly, but when it elects not to do so, each State is free to act by itself. Our job is to translate the legislation Congress has enacted and choose whether it is consistent with the Constitution. PASPA is not. PASPA”regulate[s] state authorities’ regulation” of their citizens. …. The Constitution gives Congress no such power. The judgment of the Third Circuit is reversed.
The court stated it reversed the decision of the US Third Circuit Court of Appeals. Full opinion here.
SCOTUS impacts on sports gambling The real world software of this verdict:
New Jersey can now proceed with its plans to legalize wagering. Some gambling centers in the state have suggested it could be only a matter of weeks before sportsbooks are operations. William Hill has stated in the past it would be live within weeks at Monmouth Park.
West Virginia sports betting and Mississippi sports gambling are also well prepared to move forward with laws on the books.
So can Pennsylvania, that legalized sports wagering in 2017. A PA sports gambling rollout there’s upward in the air, but may come later this year.
Sports betting legislation advancing in a number of states can take effect immediately upon passage.
New Jersey appears set to proceed with legislation to regulate sports gambling, now that PASPA is gone. Its initial law is what amounts to a”partial repeal” of its own sports betting prohibition, with unregulated wagering capable to take place at the state’s tracks and casinos.
The New Jersey Department of Gaming Enforcement, which will oversee sports betting in the country, had no comment on the conclusion from SCOTUS today.
A quick timeline of the case New Jersey enacted a law in 2014 where it partly repealed its sports gambling ban. That law has been an attempt to allow the state’s casinos and horse betting tracks to provide sports wagering by working on a federal law, the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act. That law bans single-game wagering out Nevada sports betting.
The NCAA and the major US professional sports leagues — NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL — along with all the NCAA filed suit to prevent the law from taking effect. The leagues have standing under PASPA to bring suits which exude sports betting.
Over the next three Decades, New Jersey lost in the federal district court and the US Third Circuit Court of Appeals. New Jersey subsequently appealed the case to the US Supreme Court. The Supreme Court agreed to listen to New Jersey’s allure in the summer of 2017.
Oral arguments took place in December; several considered the hour of dialogue between justices and counsel went well for New Jersey.
More from the sports gambling decision
The choice in the case clocked in at 49 pages. Six justices joined the vast majority opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito. It had been joined by:
Chief Justice John Roberts
Justice Anthony Kennedy
Justice Elana Kagan
Justice Neil Gorsuch
Justice Clarence Thomas
Justice Stephen Breyer concurred with the majority in a separate opinion, while justices Sonia Sotomayor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg dissented. Breyer also joined the dissent in part.
The top-level takeaways
The vast majority opinion is really unequivocal in stating that PASPA is unconstitutional. Here is the quick digest of what SCOTUS actually said about PASPA in terms of the law:
When a Condition partially or completely repeals old laws banning sports gambling strategies, it”authorize[s]” those approaches under PASPA.
PASPA’s provision forbidding state authorization of sport gambling strategies violates the anticommandeering rule.
PASPA’s provision forbidding state”licens[ing]” of sport betting strategies also violates the anticommandeering rule. It matters a direct order to the state legislature and suffers from the same defect as the prohibition of state authorization. Therefore, this Court shouldn’t determine whether New Jersey’s 2014 law governs PASPA’s antilicensing provision.
No supply of PASPA is severable from the provisions right at issue.
The bottom line: PASPA is background.
Alito’s takeaways
Alito gives us a short history of gaming in america and PASPA before getting to the questions of law that were placed in front of the court.
Alito said the idea that Congress had in mind exactly what NJ did — a partial repeal — is dubious:
The Third Circuit could not say that, if any, partial repeals are permitted. Respondents and the United States tell us that the PASPA ban on state authorization permits complete repeals, but beyond that they identify no obvious line. It’s unlikely that Congress intended to enact this kind of nebulous regime.
The state had argued that PASPA commandeered the nation into keeping its prohibition on the books. Along with the court, via Alito, consented.
The PASPA supply at issue hereprohibiting state authorization of sports gambling–violates the anticommandeering rule. That supply unequivocally dictates exactly what a state legislature might and might not do.
Reaction to the NJ sports gambling case
This is some response from various corners:
American Gaming Association
“Today’s decision is a victory for the millions of Americans who seek to bet on sports in a safe and controlled way. According to a Washington Post poll, a strong 55 percent of Americans believe it is time to end the federal ban on sports betting. Today’s ruling makes it possible for states and autonomous tribal nations to give Americans what they want: an open, transparent, and accountable market for sports gambling.
Through clever, efficient regulation that this new marketplace will protect consumers, maintain the integrity of those games we all love, enable law enforcement to fight illegal gaming, and create new revenue for countries, sporting bodies, broadcasters and several others. The AGA stands prepared to work with all stakeholders — states, tribes, sports leagues, and law enforcement — to make a new regulatory environment that capitalizes on this opportunity to engage enthusiasts and boost local economies.”
The NFL’s longstanding and unwavering dedication to protecting the integrity of our sport remains intact. Congress has long-recognized the possible harms posed by sports gambling to the integrity of sporting contests as well as the people confidence in these events. Given that history, we intend to call on Congress again, this time to reevaluate a core regulatory frame for legalized sports gambling. We also will work together with our teams to make certain that any state attempts that proceed in the meantime protect our fans and the integrity of our sport.
“Now the United States Supreme Court issued a crystal clear decision that PASPA is unconstitutional, reversing the lower courts that held otherwise. While we’re still reviewing the decision to comprehend the general implications to school sports, we will correct sports wagering and championship policies to align with the direction from the courtroom.”
Commissioner Adam Silver:
“Today’s decision by the Supreme Court opens the door for states to pass legislation legalizing sports betting. We stay in favor of a federal framework that would provide a uniform way of sports gambling in countries that choose to permit it, but we’ll remain active in continuing talks with state legislatures. Regardless of the particulars of any future sports betting law, the ethics of our game remains our highest priority.”
And the players’ association:
“Today’s decision by the Supreme Court will significantly impact our sport — indeed, all sports in this country. The NBPA will, often in conjunction with the other sports unionswork to make certain our players’ rights are safeguarded and encouraged as we venture into this new land.”
Major League Baseball
“Today’s decision by the Supreme Court will have deep results on Major League Baseball. As every nation considers whether to let sports betting, we’ll continue to seek out the proper protections for our game, in partnership with other specialist sports. Our most important priority is protecting the integrity of the matches. We’ll continue to support legislation which promotes air-tight partnerships and coordination between the nation, the casino operators, and the regulating bodies in athletics toward this objective.”
Along with the players’ association:
“The Court’s decision is monumental, with far-reaching consequences for baseball players and the sport we love. From complicated intellectual property inquiries to the simplest issues of gamers security, the realities of widespread sports betting must be addressed urgently and thoughtfully to prevent putting our sport’s integrity at risk as conditions continue with legalization.”
PGA Tour
“Following the Supreme Court’s ruling now, the PGA TOUR reiterates its support of the law of sports betting in a secure and responsible manner. We think that regulation is the best way of ensuring integrity in competition, protecting consumers, engaging enthusiasts and generating revenue for government, leagues and operators. We stay aligned with the NBA and MLB in this region, and we will continue with our collective efforts to work with legislators, regulators, operators and others in the industry on regulation which serves the interests of all involved.”
The no. 2 man under MGM Resorts CEO Jim Murren talked to Bloomberg:
“We consider in the next two years to three years, there are 10 to 12 countries that are mature and ready to activate on that,” MGM President William Hornbuckle said. “We will be there. We will participate in it. We bring technology. We bring awareness. And in this space, we bring trust”
888 Holdings
Itai Frieberger, CEO of 888:
“888 has been keeping a very close eye on regulatory improvements in the US and welcomes today’s announcement as an important step forward in the possible regulation of the US market. The potential for sports betting in the US is important and, since the only operator in all three regulated US states*, we believe 888 is distinctively positioned to exploit the potential growth opportunities in the US marketplace that today’s ruling opens up”
Rep. Frank Pallone
Pallone is a Congressman from New Jersey who has championed sports betting bills at the national level:
“The Supreme Court’s ruling is a win for New Jersey and the rest of the nation. PASPA was obviously unconstitutional, along with the ban online sports gambling has rightfully been rejected by the Court. I’ve long thought that New Jersey should have the opportunity to proceed with sports betting. Now the Supreme Court has struck down this unlawful and perplexing law, it is time for Congress to move the GAME Act ahead to make sure that consumer protections are in place in almost any state that decides to execute sports betting.”
Rep. Dina Titus
Titus represents Nevada in Congress.
“Now the Supreme Court has confirmed states’ rights in regards to sports betting and opened up the door for regulated sports gambling in states across the country,” said Representative Titus. “A regulated market is always better than an unregulated one. As the agent for Las Vegas I have observed the success of this booming, controlled sports gambling market in Nevada. The skilled and Amateur Sports Protection Act has spawned a $150 billion annual illegal sports betting market that lacks customer protections, which is ripe for manipulation, fuels other illegal actions, and jeopardizes the integrity of sport leagues.
In the coming weeks, I will be working with key stakeholders and industry specialists to help educate my colleagues on what this implies for their own states and what they can learn from the gold standard set in Nevada. Allowing states and tribal sovereign governments to legalize sports gambling could boost local markets, increase state revenues, and even better protect both customers and the industry, with Nevada showing the way. Las Vegas will still be the premier destination for sports gambling, and Nevada can export its expertise. The Supreme Court now also sends a clear message to the Department of Justice that can be applied to some other nations’ rights problems like marijuana.”
New York
Here is Sen. John Bonacic, who is sponsoring legislation to legalize wagering in his state:
“New York has been preparing for this moment since as far back as 2013 and now we’ve stayed proactive in anticipation of this conclusion by the Court. The Senate Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee held a public hearing in January that brought together stakeholders from across the gaming spectrum to explore this issue in detail.
Since that time, I’ve introduced legislation which has passed committee and proceeded to have productive discussions regarding the problem. I’m confident that working together with my colleagues in both the Senate and Assembly, we may have a bill ready for Governor’s signature from the end of the session”
Pechanga Tribe
“We view sports gambling as a possible amenity that would complement our many offerings. Now that the Court has ruled, we anticipate participating in a dialogue with fellow tribal leaders, policymakers, and industry stakeholders to find out if there is a route forward for sports gambling from California.”
California Nations Indian Gaming Association
Chairman Steve Stallings:
Moving forward it’ll take a change to the California Constitution to allow any form of sports wagering. In doing this, we would advise the state to move slowly and carefully and analyze all angles because it pertains to sports gambling. As the state of California weighs the decision of whether to allow for the practice of sports wagering, we strongly ask that tribes have a place in the table in any and all discussions surrounding the issue.
In addition, we want to make very clear that California voters have, on many occasions, supported the exclusive right of California tribal authorities to run casino-style games. Legalization of sports betting should not develop into a back-door way to infringe upon that exclusivity.
A strong, well-regulated gaming sector is of utmost importance to California’s tribal governments and the public. Assessing the integrity of the gambling business shields California and is our authentic North Star that guides all of our stances and decision DraftKings and FanDuel
Both daily fantasy sports websites have been eyeing legal sports wagering and that interest increases today. DraftKings had already announced its intention to offer sports wagering:
“The Supreme Court’s conclusion, which paves the way for states to legalize sports gambling, creates an enormous opportunity for FanDuel as our platform, brand, and customer base provide a special and compelling foundation to participate.
At our core, we are a company that makes sports more exciting. In the exact same manner we revolutionized fantasy sports, we will bring innovation to the sport betting space. This choice allows us to bring the fire and engagement we have observed one of our users to new and enlarged marketplaces and make a sports betting product that fans will love. FanDuel is and will continue to be the best mobile destination for every sports enthusiast.”
DraftKings CEO Jason Robins:
“Our mission has always been to bring fans closer to the sports that they love and today, due to the wisdom of the Supreme Court, DraftKings is going to be able to exploit our proven technologies to provide our customers with innovative online sports betting products. This judgment gives us the capacity to further enhance our product offerings and build on our unique capability to drive fan participation.”

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