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U.S. Supreme Court Will Hear New Jersey Sports Betting Case

June 28, 2017

On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court granted the writ of certiorari by New Jersey to hear the state’s case based on its merits.

This means the Supreme Court, the highest court in the U.S., will hear the case and rule whether PASPA is constitutional or not.

The proceedings will be the following:

  • August 10 – New Jersey’s merits brief
  • August 17 – Amici briefs
  • September 14 – Leagues’ response brief
  • October 14 – New Jersey’s reply brief

It is likely that New Jersey will again argue that the federal law prohibiting gambling – PASPA – is not constitutional, that it is a violation of equal sovereignty where every state should be able to make their own laws provided they are in line with laws established by the federal government.

NJ argues that PASPA violates the 10th Amendment. Four states received grandfathering in PASPA to allow sports wagering when PASPA was introduced during 1992.

PASPA today is still the only law where certain states were granted exemptions while others were not.

The NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB and the NCAA, who oppose New Jersey, argue that PASPA not only is constitutional, but sports betting threatens the integrity of sports.

The announcement on Tuesday is a huge victory for the state, especially when you consider that the solicitor general had recommended that SCOTUS not hear the case.

If NJ loses, at least it succeeded in putting sports betting back into the spotlight and giving it legitimacy.

Over the last few years, things have changed in pro sports. The NFL as well as the NHL will have teams playing in Las Vegas. Previously the leagues had argued that sports betting could cause irreparable damage to the sport’s image but that argument is difficult to justify if teams are calling Sin City home.

Daily Fantasy Sports has mushroomed and leagues have signed deals with the largest companies and arguing that it is not a form of sports betting just does not have merit.

Lawmakers in Washington and states around the country have submitted measures to allow for sports betting, but those are still far from coming to the floor of either chamber to be discussed.

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