The New Jersey betting scenario may be headed up to the Supreme Court

Written By Janice Doughtrey

The United States Supreme Court is being asked to weigh in on the legality for New Jersey land-based sports betting shops. So far, the Thoroughbred Racing Association has been very unsuccessful in their attempts to change the law in order to allow for this, and so they are taking it to the highest court in the land.

Due to the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act that was created back in 1992, it is illegal for anyone to set up a sports betting shop in the United States. This rule has an exception though, whereas four states were able to be grandfathered in to continue to allow for sports betting, which included the ever popular gambling capital of Nevada. New Jersey was not on this list.

It was originally decided by New Jersey officials not to allow for casinos in the state to use sports betting in their facilities. This opinion has now changed, which is likely resulting from the rapid decline of the gambling industry in Atlantic City. They originally tried to get the Supreme Court to hear this case back in 2014, but their petition was turned down. Although nothing significantly new has changed they are hoping for a change of heart in their currently pending action.

Earlier this year in August a federal court decided that it would be against federal policy for the state of New Jersey to allow for sports betting in their casinos now as a result of the act. In order for New Jersey to have any standing it is likely that they are going to have to rely on federal reform, which is being led through the American Gaming Association and the NBA. In this circumstance, it would make it legal for any state to allow for sports betting in their jurisdiction if they choose so.

The American Gaming Association has made it clear that they fully expect the next president of the United States to have to deal with the issue of sports gambling. Over $150 billion is spent on the industry each year, but this profit is being untaxed and going unregulated since it is being streamed through illegal gambling operations that don’t have federal approval.

The biggest benefits to legalizing sports betting would be that a majority of the black market sports betting platforms would lose their revenue as players turn to legalized forms of sports gambling, which would then produce taxable income that can go directly into the economy and government budget. Furthermore, it would likely increase the interactivity of fans watching sporting events and open up a new market for sports betting advertisements on certain television networks. These major changes would effect a lot more than just the gambling industry, but of course they’re in it for their own share of the pie. It might be just what Atlantic City needs to save itself from an untimely demise.

We will see in upcoming weeks whether or not the Supreme Court will hear this issue.