New Jersey’s PASPA repeal becomes a high stakes ruling for all US states

The Supreme Court Justices’ review of New Jersey repealing the provisions of the 1992 ‘Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA)’, has become a high stakes battle for all federal US states.

A report published by US gambling research consultancy Eilers & Krejcik Gaming has indicated that 18 states may move to introduce licensed sports betting bills, with 11 having a good chance of passing legislation.

Last December, Supreme Court justices heard initial ‘oral arguments’ put forward by outgoing New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, arguing that PASPA laws are ‘unconstitutional’ and do not allow individual states to self-govern on matters relating to gambling policy.

In its research, Eilers & Krejcik detail that more than 30 states could seek to introduce individual sports betting legislation, should New Jersey gain a favourable ruling on its PASPA repeal.

“Assuming a Supreme Court decision or action by Congress permits it, we could see the largest simultaneous expansion of regulated gambling in U.S. history with sports betting in 2018,” details Chris Grove, Eilers & Krejcik Managing Director.

US betting stakeholders, currently await the decision which is expected to be delivered in June. For a number of years pro-betting advocates have presented arguments to Congress for legalising sports betting be it; raising funds for state revenues, creating safer betting environments or decriminalising betting activity.

Following New Jersey’s December hearing, The American Gaming Association (AGA) detailed that it had gathered a ’50 state brief’ supporting the mandate to eliminate PASPA.

Nevertheless, state-wide support may not be sufficient to turn the Supreme Justices judgement against PASPA, as the legislation is still backed by the majority of US pro-leagues (the NFL, MLB and NHL).

PASPA has its detractors, however political debate still continues on the most efficient and effective way for the US to implement regulated sports betting.

Though states would favour self-governance for gambling services, powerful backers such as Adam Silver the NBA’s Chief Commissioner have pushed for legalization of sports betting to be operated at a federal level, creating a unified code for all stakeholders involved.

For now, all US sports stakeholders await the Justices final decision on New Jersey Vs PASPA, which will ultimately reveal whether 2018 is the year hope or just more hype for US sports betting…