It’s game on for sports betting in New Jersey, and perhaps the rest of the nation as well.
The state of New Jersey won its US Supreme Court case, as a vast majority of justices announced that the national ban on sports wagering is unconstitutional.
More on the backstory of NJ sports betting as well as the Skilled and Amateur Sports Protection Act here. Formerly, single-game wagering was legal in the united states only through the Nevada sports gambling industry.
Here’s the conclusion of the majority opinion:
The legalization of sports gambling requires an important policy choice, but the decision is not ours to create. Congress can control sports gambling directly, but if it elects not to do so, every State is free to act by itself. Our job is to translate the legislation Congress has enacted and choose whether it’s consistent with the Constitution. PASPA isn’t. PASPA”regulate[s] state governments’ law” of their citizens. …. The Constitution gives Congress no such power. The judgment of the Third Circuit is reversed.
The court stated it reversed the decision of Appeals. Complete opinion here.
SCOTUS impacts on sports gambling The real-world applications of the verdict:
New Jersey can now proceed with its own plans to legalize wagering. Some gambling facilities in the country have suggested it could be only a matter of weeks until sportsbooks are operations. William Hill has said previously it would be live within weeks in Monmouth Park.
West Virginia sports gambling and Mississippi sports gambling will also be prepared to move forward with legislation on the books.
So can Pennsylvania, that legalized sports wagering in 2017. A PA sports gambling rollout there is up in the air, but may come later this season.
Sports gambling legislation progressing in a number of nations might take effect immediately upon passage.
New Jersey seems set to proceed with legislation to govern sports betting, today that PASPA is gone. Its initial law is what amounts to a”partial repeal” of its sports gambling prohibition, together with unregulated wagering capable to happen at the state’s tracks and casinos.
The New Jersey Department of Gaming Enforcement, that will oversee sports betting from the state, had no comment regarding the conclusion from SCOTUS today.
A quick timeline of this case New Jersey enacted a law in 2014 where it partly repealed its sports betting ban. That law was an effort to allow the state’s casinos and horse betting tracks to offer sports wagering by working on a national law, the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act. That law prohibits single-game wagering outside Nevada sports gambling.
The NCAA and the major US professional sports leagues — NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL — and all the NCAA filed lawsuit to stop the law from taking effect. The leagues have standing under PASPA to bring suits that exude sports gambling.
Over the following 3 Decades, New Jersey dropped in both federal district court and the US Third Circuit Court of Appeals. New Jersey then appealed the case to the US Supreme Courtin June. The Supreme Court agreed to listen to New Jersey’s allure in the summer of 2017.
Oral arguments took place in December; several believed the hour of conversation between justices and counselor went well for New Jersey.
More from the sport gambling decision
The choice in the case clocked in at 49 pages. Six justices joined the majority opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito. It was joined by:
Chief Justice John Roberts
Justice Anthony Kennedy
Justice Elana Kagan
Justice Neil Gorsuch
Justice Clarence Thomas
Justice Stephen Breyer concurred with the majority in a separate view, while justices Sonia Sotomayor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg dissented. Breyer also joined the dissent in part.
The top notch takeaways
The vast majority opinion is pretty unequivocal in stating that PASPA is unconstitutional. Here’s the quick digest of what SCOTUS really said about PASPA in terms of the law:
When a Condition completely or partially repeals old laws banning sports gambling strategies, it”authorize[s]” these approaches under PASPA.
PASPA’s provision prohibiting state authorization of sport gambling strategies violates the anticommandeering rule.
PASPA’s provision prohibiting state”licens[ing]” of sports betting schemes also violates the anticommandeering rule. It issues a direct order to the state legislature and suffers from precisely the exact same defect as the prohibition of state consent. Thus, this Court need not determine whether New Jersey’s 2014 law violates PASPA’s antilicensing provision.
No supply of PASPA is severable from the provisions directly at issue.
The bottom line: PASPA is background.
Alito gives us a brief history of gaming in the US and PASPA before getting to the questions of law which were put in front of the courtroom.
Alito stated the idea that Congress had in mind exactly what NJ did — a partial repeal — is suspicious:
The Third Circuit could not say which, if any, partial repeals are allowed. Respondents and the United States of America tell us that the PASPA ban state consent permits complete repeals, but past which they identify no obvious line. It is improbable that Congress intended to enact this kind of nebulous regime.
The state had argued that PASPA commandeered the nation into keeping its prohibition on the novels. Along with the court, via Alito, agreed.
The PASPA provision at issue here–prohibiting state authorization of sport gambling–violates the anticommandeering rule. That supply unequivocally dictates exactly what a state legislature may and may not do.
Reaction to the NJ sports gambling case
This is some reaction from various corners:
American Gaming Association
“Today’s decision is a victory for the millions of Americans that attempt to bet on sports in a secure and controlled manner. According to a Washington Post survey, a solid 55 percent of Americans believe it is time to end the federal ban on sports gambling. Today’s judgment makes it possible for countries and autonomous tribal nations to give Americans what they want: an open, transparent, and accountable market for sports betting.
Through smart, efficient regulation that this new marketplace will protect consumers, maintain the integrity of the games we love, empower law enforcement to fight illegal gambling, and generate new revenue for countries, sporting bodies, broadcasters and several more. The AGA stands prepared to work with all stakeholders — states, tribes, sports leagues, and law enforcement — to create a new regulatory environment that capitalizes on this chance to participate enthusiasts and boost local economies.”
The NFL’s long-standing and unwavering commitment to protecting the integrity of the game remains intact. Congress has long-recognized the possible harms posed by sports betting to the integrity of sporting contests and the public confidence in these types of events. Given that history, we mean to call on Congress again, this time to reevaluate a heart regulatory frame for legalized sports betting. We will work together with our clubs to make certain that any state efforts that proceed in the meantime shield our fans and the ethics of our sport.
“Today the United States Supreme Court issued a crystal clear decision that PASPA is unconstitutional, reversing the lower courts which held differently. While we’re still reviewing the decision to comprehend the general implications to school sports, we will correct sports wagering and championship policies to align with the direction from the court.”
Commissioner Adam Silver:
“Today’s decision by the Supreme Court opens the door for states to pass laws legalizing sports betting. We stay in favor of a national framework that will provide a uniform approach to sports betting in countries that choose to allow it, but we will remain active in ongoing talks with state legislatures. Irrespective of the details of any future sports gambling law, the ethics of our sport remains our greatest priority.”
Along with the players’ association:
“Today’s decision by the Supreme Court will significantly impact our game — really, all sports in this country. The NBPA is going to frequently together with another sports unionswork to ensure that our players’ rights are protected and encouraged as we venture into this new territory.”
Major League Baseball
“Today’s decision by the Supreme Court will have profound effects on Major League Baseball. As every nation considers whether to allow sports betting, we’ll continue to seek the appropriate protections for our sport, in partnership with other professional sports. Our most important priority is protecting the integrity of our games. We’ll continue to support legislation that promotes air-tight partnerships and coordination between the state, the casino operators, as well as the governing bodies in sports toward that goal.”
And the players’ association:
“The Court’s decision is massive, with far-reaching consequences for baseball players and the sport we love. From complex intellectual property inquiries to the most basic topics of gamers safety, the realities of sports gambling must be addressed and thoughtfully to avoid putting our game’s integrity in danger as conditions continue with legalization.”
“Following the Supreme Court’s ruling today, the PGA TOUR reiterates its support of the law of sports betting in a secure and responsible way. We think that regulation is the best method of ensuring integrity in competition, protecting consumers, engaging fans and generating revenue for government, leagues and operators. We remain aligned with the NBA and MLB in this area, and we will continue with our collective efforts to work with legislators, regulators, operators and others in the industry on regulation which serves the interests of all involved.”
The no. 2 man under MGM Resorts CEO Jim Murren spoke to Bloomberg:
“We consider in the next two years to 3 decades, there are 10 to 12 countries that are ripe and ready to activate that,” MGM President William Hornbuckle said. “We’ll be there. We will take part in it. We deliver technology. We bring awareness. And in this space, we bring trust”
Itai Frieberger, CEO of 888:
“888 continues to be keeping a very close eye on regulatory developments in america and welcomes today’s announcement as an important step forward in the potential regulation of the US marketplace. The capacity for sports betting in the united states is important and, since the only operator in all three regulated US states*, we consider 888 is distinctively positioned to exploit the potential growth opportunities in the US market that today’s judgment opens up.”
Rep. Frank Pallone
Pallone is a Congressman from New Jersey who has championed sports betting bills at the national level:
“The Supreme Court’s ruling is a triumph for New Jersey and the rest of the nation. PASPA was obviously unconstitutional, and the ban online sports betting has rightfully been reversed by the Court. I have long believed that New Jersey should have the opportunity to go with sports gambling. Now that the Supreme Court has struck down this criminal and confusing law, it is time for Congress to maneuver the GAME Act forward to ensure that consumer protections are set up in any state that decides to execute sports betting.”
Rep. Dina Titus
Titus represents Nevada in Congress.
“Now the Supreme Court has affirmed states’ rights when it comes to sports betting and opened the door for regulated sports gambling in states across the nation,” said Representative Titus. “A controlled market is always better than an unregulated one. As the agent for Las Vegas I have observed the success of this booming, regulated sports betting market in Nevada. The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act has spawned a $150 billion yearly illegal sports betting market that lacks consumer protections, is ripe for manipulation, fuels other illegal actions, and jeopardizes the integrity of sports leagues.
In the coming weeks, I will be working with key stakeholders and industry specialists to help educate my colleagues on what this implies for their states and what they are able to learn from the golden standard set in Nevada. Allowing countries and tribal sovereign governments to legalize sports gambling could boost local economies, raise state revenues, and even better protect both customers and the market, with Nevada revealing the way. Las Vegas will still be the best destination for sports betting, and Nevada will export its own experience. The Supreme Court today also sends a clear message to the Department of Justice which may be applied to some other states’ rights issues like bud.”
This is Sen. John Bonacic, Who’s sponsoring legislation to legalize wagering in his nation:
“New York was preparing for this moment since as far back as 2013 and we have stayed proactive in expectation of the decision by the Court. The Senate Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee held a public hearing in January that brought together stakeholders from throughout the gaming spectrum to discuss this issue in detail.
Since that time, I’ve introduced legislation that has passed committee and proceeded to have productive discussions regarding the problem. I’m confident that working with my colleagues in both the Senate and Assembly, we can have a bill ready for Governor’s signature by the end of the session.”
“We see sports betting as a potential amenity that would complement our numerous offerings. Now the Court has ruled, we anticipate engaging in a conversation with fellow tribal leaders, policymakers, and industry stakeholders to see if there is a path forward for sports betting from California.”
California Nations Indian Gaming Association
Chairman Steve Stallings:
Moving ahead it’ll take an amendment to the California Constitution to allow any kind of sports wagering. In doing so, we’d advise the state to proceed slowly and cautiously and examine all angles because it pertains to sports betting. As the condition of California weighs the decision of whether to allow for the practice of sports wagering, we firmly ask that tribes have a place in the table in all discussions surrounding the problem.
In addition, we wish to make quite clear that California voters have, on numerous occasions, supported the exclusive right of California tribal governments to operate casino-style games. Legalization of sports gambling shouldn’t become a back-door way to infringe upon that exclusivity.
A powerful, well-regulated gaming sector is of utmost importance to California’s tribal authorities and the public. Protecting the integrity of the gaming industry protects California and is our true North Star that guides each of our stances and conclusion DraftKings and FanDuel
Both daily fantasy sports websites are eyeing legal sports wagering and that interest will increase today. DraftKings had already declared its intention to offer sports wagering:
“The Supreme Court’s decision, which paves the way for states to legalize sports betting, creates an enormous opportunity for FanDuel as our stage, brand, and customer base supply a unique and persuasive base to participate.
At our core, we are a business that makes sports more exciting. In precisely the exact same manner we revolutionized fantasy sports, we will bring innovation to the sport betting space. This decision allows us to bring the fire and engagement we’ve seen one of our customers to new and enlarged marketplaces and make a sports betting product that fans will love. FanDuel is and will continue to be the best portable destination for every sports enthusiast.”
DraftKings CEO Jason Robins:
“Our mission has always been to bring fans closer to the sports they love and now, due to the wisdom of the Supreme Court, DraftKings is going to have the ability to harness our proven technologies to provide our customers with innovative online sports betting products. This ruling gives us the ability to further enhance our product offerings and build on our unique capability to drive fan participation.”
It’s game on for sports betting in New Jersey, and perhaps the rest of the nation as well.