Benjie Cherniak – Don Best: “Trump has clearly picked his side” in the sports betting debate

Managing Director of Don Best Sports, Benjie Cherniak stated that the actions of President Donald Trump show he has ‘clearly picked his side in the sports betting debate’.

In response to New Jersey officials being permitted with the opportunity to present oral arguments to the US Supreme court on 4 December. Last week, Trump ordered Solicitor General Noel Francisco to file a Supreme Court brief, supporting the stance of the US Pro League, who remain staunchly opposed to the legalisation of sports betting.

The decision from Trump, which will inevitably hamper New Jersey’s bid to overturn federal 1992 PASPA provisions that mean sports betting is only allowed in Las Vegas, was described by Cherniak as “a rather surprising development.”

Cherniak stated: “To date, Trump in his presidency had not taken a position on the sports betting debate.  Clearly, he has now picked his side in assigning the Solicitor General to file the Supreme Court briefing in support of the leagues and PASPA.  While it is difficult to measure what impact this will have on the Supreme Court’s ultimate ruling, clearly it is not a favourable development for those in support of the New Jersey cause.”

Speculating about what Trump is aiming to accomplish, Cherniak added: “one can only surmise. Is it possible he is opposed to legislated sports betting altogether?  Anything is possible, but such a position seems unlikely.  The more logical assessment is that like the majority of the leagues themselves, Trump favors a Federal approach to legislation as opposed to the State by State solution that would result from a PASPA repeal.  It appears Trump is aligning himself with the leagues on this matter.  

“To be clear, if Trump and the leagues are successful in defending PASPA, it does not necessarily mean we won’t see legislated sports betting in the US.  What it likely means is that it will take us longer to get there, with potentially a Federally driven format conducive to the league’s wishes as opposed to via the individual States.”

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