Yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling to overturn PASPA’s federal mandate sees former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie complete a career-defining goal.
Christie tweeted his delight at yesterday’s Supreme Court repeal of Paspa.
A great day for the rights of states and their people to make their own decisions. New Jersey citizens wanted sports gambling and the federal Gov’t had no right to tell them no. The Supreme Court agrees with us today. I am proud to have fought for the rights of the people of NJ.
— Governor Christie (@GovChristie) May 14, 2018
Taking governorship of New Jersey in 2010, Christie had placed repealing PASPA’s stranglehold on US sports at the top of his agenda.
From the start of his administration, the Republican governor had viewed PASPA laws as unconstitutional and punitive for US consumers, who would be forced to use illegal means in order to place sports wagers.
Furthermore, Christie had viewed licensed sports betting, as the key to reviving the declining revenues of NJ’s Atlantic City Broadwalk casinos which had been floundering for a number of years.
Working with Democrat counterpart Raymond Lesniak, the former Senator of New Jersey, Christie would lead a number of state appeals, requesting US courts to review PASPA’s mandate.
In 2014, Christie and Lesniak would draft a state-centric sports betting bill, which would aim to bypass PASPA federal laws, by offering ‘state sanctioned’ sports betting within the premises of New Jersey licensed casinos and racetracks.
Nevertheless, the NJ bill would be protested by US pro-leagues (NBA, NFL, NHL & MLB), who urged Federal & District courts to block the progress of the mandate, as it could not ‘safeguard the integrity of US sports’.
Critical of the pro-leagues stance on sports betting, Christie and Lesniak would continue to push for state-sanctioned sports betting.
Following a year of federal court review denials, in 2016 the New Jersey officials stated that they would proceed for a full review of PASPA laws by the Supreme Court of Justice, the highest governing legal entity in the US.
The bold move to place PASPA up for review by the Supreme Court was viewed as an ‘all or nothing move’ for US sports betting.
By US legal stature, the Supreme Court decides to review appeals at its own discretion, therefore there would be no guarantee that Supreme Court judges would move forward on reviewing PASPA’s mandate.
In late 2017, as outgoing New Jersey governor, Christie would personally put forward ‘oral arguments’ presented in the seminal case ‘New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie versus the NCAA’.
However prior, to putting forward New Jersey’s arguments, the newly elected Trump Whitehouse administration, had moved to file a brief by Solicitor General Noel Francisco, advising the Supreme Court to maintain PASPA laws.
Nevertheless, unlike previous efforts to bypass PASPA’s mandate, New Jersey’s Supreme Court appeal would gain the far-reaching support from numerous US legislatures, as +25 states detailed that they would move to implement licensed sports betting provisions, should PASPA be rescinded.
Yesterday’s Supreme Court judgement has changed the context of the global betting sector, opening up what will likely be the world’s biggest betting market.
Current New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy praised Christie and Lesniak for being ‘long-term lead advocates against an inherently unequal law’.
Murphy and New Jersey officials have marked the repeal of PASPA laws as an ‘incredible bipartisan victory’, an outcome that is certainly unfamiliar in the divided USA.