Legal Sports Betting Is Coming To US, As New Jersey Wins Supreme Court Case
It’s game on for sports betting from New Jersey, and possibly the rest of the nation as well.
The state of New Jersey won its US Supreme Court case, as a majority of justices announced that the national ban on sports wagering is unconstitutional.
More about the backstory of NJ sports gambling and the Skilled and Amateur Sports Protection Act here. Previously, single-game wagering was authorized in the US only via the Nevada sports gambling industry.
Here is the conclusion of the Vast Majority opinion:
The legalization of sport betting requires a significant policy choice, but the decision is not ours to make. Congress can regulate sports gambling directly, but if 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”govern [s] state authorities’ law” of the citizens. …. The Constitution gives Congress no such power. The judgment of the Third Circuit is reversed.
The court stated it reversed the decision of Appeals. Complete opinion here.
SCOTUS affects on sports betting The real-world applications of the verdict:
New Jersey can now move forward with its own plans to legalize wagering. Some gaming facilities in the country have indicated it could be just a matter of weeks until sportsbooks are operations. William Hill has said in the past it would be reside within weeks in Monmouth Park.
West Virginia sports betting and Mississippi sports betting will also be prepared to move forward with legislation on the books.
So can Pennsylvania, which legalized sports wagering in 2017. A PA sports gambling rollout there is upward in the air, but could come later this year.
Sports betting legislation advancing in a number of nations can take effect immediately upon passage.
New Jersey seems set to move forward with legislation to regulate sports betting, today that PASPA has been gone. Its first law is what amounts to a”partial repeal” of its sports gambling prohibition, with unregulated wagering able to take place at the state’s casinos and tracks.
The New Jersey Department of Gaming Enforcement, which will oversee sports gambling from the state, had no comment on the decision from SCOTUS today.
A Fast timeline of this Situation New Jersey enacted a law in 2014 in which it partly repealed its own sports gambling ban. That law has been an attempt to permit the nation’s casinos and horse betting paths to offer sports wagering by operating on a federal law, the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act. That law bans single-game wagering out of Nevada sports betting.
The NCAA and the major US pro sports leagues — NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL — and all the NCAA filed suit to prevent the law from taking effect. The leagues have standing under PASPA to bring suits which authorize sports gambling.
On the next three Decades, New Jersey lost in both 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 appeal in the summer of 2017.
Oral arguments took place in December; several believed the hour of dialogue between justices and counsel went well for New Jersey.
More from the sports betting decision
The decision in the case clocked in at 49 pages. Six justices joined the 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 view, while justices Sonia Sotomayor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg dissented. Breyer also joined the dissent in part.
The top notch takeaways
The vast majority opinion is pretty unequivocal in saying that PASPA is unconstitutional. Here’s the quick digest of what SCOTUS really said about PASPA Regarding the law:
When a State completely or partially repeals old legislation banning sports gambling strategies, it”authorize[s]” these schemes under PASPA.
PASPA’s provision prohibiting state authorization of sport betting schemes violates the anticommandeering rule.
PASPA’s provision prohibiting state”licens[ing]” of sports betting strategies also violates the anticommandeering rule. It issues a direct order to the state legislature and suffers from precisely the same flaw as the prohibition of state authorization. Thus, this Court shouldn’t decide whether New Jersey’s 2014 law governs PASPA’s antilicensing provision.
No provision of PASPA is severable from the terms directly at issue.
The bottom line: PASPA is history.
Alito gives us a brief history of gambling in the US and PASPA before getting to the questions of legislation which were put in the front of the courtroom.
Alito stated 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 allowed. Respondents and the United States tell us that the PASPA ban on state authorization allows complete repeals, but beyond that they identify no obvious line. It is unlikely that Congress meant to enact this kind of nebulous regime.
The state had argued that PASPA commandeered the state into maintaining its prohibition on the books. And the court, via Alito, consented.
The PASPA provision at issue here–prohibiting state authorization of sport gambling–violates the anticommandeering rule. That supply unequivocally dictates what a state legislature may and may not do.
Reaction to the NJ sports gambling case
Here is some response from corners:
American Gaming Association
“Today’s decision is a victory for the millions of Americans that seek to wager on sports in a secure and controlled manner. According to a Washington Post survey, a solid 55 percent of Americans believe it is time to end the federal ban online sports gambling. Today’s ruling makes it possible for states and autonomous tribal nations to give Americans what they want: an open, transparent, and responsible market for sports gambling.
Through clever, efficient regulation this new market will protect consumers, maintain the integrity of those games we all enjoy, enable law enforcement to fight illegal gambling, and create new revenue for countries, sporting bodies, broadcasters and several more. The AGA stands ready to work together with stakeholders — states, tribes, sports leagues, and law enforcement — to make a new regulatory environment that capitalizes on this opportunity to participate fans and boost local economies.”
The NFL’s long-standing and unwavering dedication to protecting the integrity of the game remains intact. Congress has long-recognized the possible harms posed by sports gambling to the ethics of sporting contests and the people confidence in these types of events. Given that history, we intend to call on Congress again, this time to reevaluate a heart regulatory frame for legalized sports gambling. We also will work closely with our clubs to make certain that any state attempts that proceed in the meantime protect our fans and the integrity of our game.
“Now the United States Supreme Court issued a clear decision that PASPA is unconstitutional, reversing the lower courts that held differently. While we are still reviewing the decision to understand the general implications to college sports, we will adjust sports wagering and championship policies to align with the direction from the court.”
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 will provide a uniform way of sports gambling in countries that choose to permit it, but we’ll remain active in continuing discussions with state legislatures. Regardless of the details of any future sports betting law, the ethics of our game remains our highest priority.”
Along with the players’ association:
“Today’s decision by the Supreme Court will significantly impact our game — indeed, all sports in this country. The NBPA is going to often together with another sports marriages , work to ensure our players’ rights are protected and encouraged as we venture into this new territory.”
Major League Baseball
“Today’s decision by the Supreme Court will have deep results on Major League Baseball. As every state considers whether to allow sports gambling, we’ll continue to seek out the appropriate protections for our sport, in partnership with other professional sports. Our most important priority is protecting the integrity of our games. We’ll continue to support legislation that promotes air-tight coordination and partnerships between the nation, the casino operators, as well as the governing bodies in sports toward that objective.”
And the players’ association:
“The Court’s conclusion is massive, with far-reaching consequences for baseball players and the sport we love. From complicated intellectual property questions to the most basic topics of gamers safety, the realities of widespread sports betting must be addressed and thoughtfully to prevent placing our game’s integrity in danger as states proceed with legalization.”
“Following the Supreme Court’s ruling today, the PGA TOUR reiterates its support of the regulation of sports gambling in a safe and responsible manner. We believe that law is the best way of ensuring integrity in competition, protecting consumers, engaging enthusiasts and creating revenue for authorities, operators and leagues. We stay aligned with the NBA and MLB in this area, and we will continue with our collective efforts to work with legislators, operators, regulators and others in the sector on regulation that serves the interests of all involved.”
The no. 2 guy under MGM Resorts CEO Jim Murren talked to Bloomberg:
“We believe in the next two years to three years, there are 10 to 12 countries that are mature and ready to activate that,” MGM President William Hornbuckle said. “We will be there. We’ll take part in it. We deliver technology. We bring knowledge. And frankly in this space, we bring hope ”
Itai Frieberger, CEO of 888:
“888 continues to be keeping a very close eye on regulatory developments in america and welcomes today’s announcement as a significant step forward in the potential regulation of the US market. The potential for sports betting in the US is significant and, as the sole operator in all three regulated US states*, we believe 888 is distinctively positioned to exploit the potential growth opportunities in america marketplace that today’s judgment opens up”
Rep. Frank Pallone
Pallone is a Congressman from New Jersey that has championed sports betting bills at the federal level:
“The Supreme Court’s ruling is a triumph for New Jersey and the rest of the country. PASPA was clearly unconstitutional, and the ban online sports betting has now rightfully been rejected by the Court. I have long thought that New Jersey should have the chance to go with sports gambling. Now the Supreme Court has struck down this criminal and confusing law, now is the time for Congress to move the GAME Act ahead to ensure that consumer protections are set up in almost any state that decides to implement sports betting.”
Rep. Dina Titus
Titus signifies Nevada in Congress.
“Now the Supreme Court has confirmed states’ rights when it comes to sports gambling and opened the door for controlled sports betting in states across the nation,” stated Representative Titus. “A regulated market is always better than an unregulated one. As the agent for Las Vegas I have seen the success of the flourishing, regulated sports gambling market in Nevada. The skilled and Amateur Sports Protection Act has spawned a $150 billion annual illegal sports gambling market that lacks customer protections, which is ripe for manipulation, fuels other illegal actions, and jeopardizes the integrity of sports leagues.
In the forthcoming weeks, I will be working together 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 golden standard set in Nevada. Allowing countries and tribal sovereign governments to legalize sports betting could boost local markets, raise state revenues, and better protect both consumers and the market, with Nevada revealing the way. Las Vegas will still be the best destination for sports gambling, and Nevada will export its experience. The Supreme Court now also sends a very clear message to the Department of Justice which may be applied to some other nations’ rights problems like marijuana.”
This is Sen. John Bonacic, who is sponsoring legislation to legalize wagering in his nation:
“New York has been preparing for this moment since as far back as 2013 and 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 throughout the gaming spectrum to discuss this issue in depth.
Since that moment, I have introduced legislation which has passed committee and continued to have productive discussions concerning the problem. I am confident that working with my colleagues in both the Senate and Assembly, we can have a bill ready for Governor’s signature from the end of the session.”
“We see sports gambling as a potential amenity that will complement our numerous offerings. Now that the Court has ruled, we look forward to participating in a conversation with fellow tribal leaders, policymakers, and industry stakeholders to see if there is a route forward for sports betting in California.”
California Nations Indian Gaming Association
Chairman Steve Stallings:
Moving forward it’ll take an amendment to the California Constitution to allow any form of sport wagering. In doing so, we would advise the country to proceed slowly and cautiously and analyze all angles because it pertains to sports gambling. As the condition of California weighs the choice of whether to allow for the practice of sports wagering, we strongly request that tribes have a spot in the table in any and all discussions surrounding the problem.
We also want to make quite clear that California voters have, on numerous occasions, supported the exclusive right of California tribal authorities to run casino-style games. Legalization of sports gambling shouldn’t develop into a back-door way to infringe upon this exclusivity.
A strong, well-regulated gaming industry is of extreme importance to California’s tribal governments and the public. Assessing the integrity of the gaming industry shields California and is our authentic North Star that guides each our stances and conclusion DraftKings and FanDuel
Both daily fantasy sports websites have been eyeing legal sports wagering and that interest increases now. 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 stage, brand, and customer base supply a special and compelling foundation to participate.
At our core, we are a company which produces sports more exciting. In the same manner we revolutionized fantasy sports, we will bring innovation to the sports gambling space. This decision makes it possible for us to attract the passion and participation we have observed one of our users to new and expanded 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 fan.”
DraftKings CEO Jason Robins:
“Our mission has always been to bring fans closer to the sports they love and now, due to the wisdom of the Supreme Court, DraftKings will be able to exploit our proven technologies to provide our clients with revolutionary online sports gambling products. This ruling gives us the capacity to further enhance our product offerings and build on our unique capacity to drive fan participation.”
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