At least 20 individual states have entered briefs into New Jersey’s Supreme Court appeal to have the country-wide sports betting ban lifted by the federal government. New Jersey, which has been fighting for the right to introduce a legal and regulated sports betting industry for nearly a decade, will have its appeal heard in the fall. The Garden State argues that the federal government is breaking constitutional law by standing in the way of allowing states decide for themselves regarding legal sports betting.
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Attorney Generals from the following states signed briefs: Arizona, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Wyoming and West Virginia. The Governors of Maryland and Kentucky also signed.
As can be seen, some states are supporting New Jersey for the principle of keeping the federal government out of their internal decisions only. Utah, for example, has no gambling options in the state, and yet still signed the brief.
The news of such across-the-board support for New Jersey’s efforts comes in the same week that the American Gaming Association announced that it was also committing itself to supporting the state. The AGA said that the federal government’s efforts to ban sports betting had failed miserably.
The ban, the gaming association says, “has failed,” pointing to the level of illegal gambling that still occurs.
The AGA backed up its accusations with claims, saying that it “estimates that Americans illegally bet over $150 billion per year on U.S. sporting events.”
“Earlier this year, Americans bet an estimated $15 billion on the Super Bowl and NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament alone, and 97% of those bets were made illegally,” the AGA wrote in its Supreme Court brief.
The AGA may be one of the most powerful supporters of New Jersey’s efforts so far and the group feels that the United States is the closest it has ever been to legalizing sports betting in 25 years.