US Supreme Court: PASPA Not Consistent with Constitution

court hammerAfter a nail-biting period for the US gambling industry, the US Supreme Court finally ruled in New Jersey’s favor, stating that the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 should be struck down.

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The court ruled 6-3 that the law that bars gambling on sports such as football, baseball, basketball and other sports in most states should be overturned. PASPA at present only allows Nevada to wager on the results on a single game. The ruling is expected to see scores of states introduce their own sports betting legislation, with some analysts estimating that as many as 32 states will be offering sports betting in the next few years.

Speaking for the court, Justice Samuel Alito wrote in the ruling: “The legalization of sports gambling requires an important policy choice, but the choice 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 on its own. Our job is to interpret the law Congress has enacted and decide whether it is consistent with the Constitution. PASPA is not.”

Former New Jersey Governor, Chris Christie fought for years to allow sports betting in the state’s casinos and racetracks. Following the Supreme Court ruling, Christie took to social media to celebrate, saying that it was “a great day for the rights of states and their people to make their own decisions.”

While the four major US professional sports leagues, (NBA, NFL, NHL and MLB), as well as the NCAA have opposed the overturning of PASPA, they have also working parallel to the Supreme Court case by speaking about what their demands would be from sports betting operators should legalized sports gambling becomes a reality.

The president and CEO of the American Gaming Association, Geoff Freeman said in a statement: “Today’s decision is a victory for the millions of Americans who seek to bet on sports in a safe and regulated manner.”

“Today’s ruling makes it possible for states and sovereign tribal nations to give Americans what they want: an open, transparent, and responsible market for sports betting,” he added.

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