Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law Section

New Jersey’s Gamble Pays Off as Supreme Court Strikes Down Federal Sports Betting Ban

By Tyler Sims, Esq posted 05-15-2018 08:56


Yesterday, the Supreme Court decided (6-3) the federal law that banned sports betting in every state except Nevada is unconstitutional.  The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) was passed in 1992 to “protect the integrity of sports” and was challenged by the State of New Jersey in the case Murphy v. NCAA.  The challenge was opposed by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the four major professional sports leagues. 

With many states poised to enact sports betting laws, the NCAA and professional leagues will need to move quickly to adapt to this changing legal landscape.  New Jersey first passed a law in 2012 to legalize sports betting, but it was struck down by the New Jersey District Court and the Third Circuit.  In 2014, New Jersey passed another law that only repealed the prohibition of running a sports book at tracks and casinos.  The 2014 law was again challenged by the NCAA and the four major professional sports leagues and again declared unlawful by the same federal courts.  This time however, the Supreme Court granted certiorari and ruled that PASPA is unconstitutional.  See the opinion here.

It is likely that state legislation will move quickly as five states already have laws on the books and nearly two dozen others are considering similar bills.  This decision is monumental in two ways: (1) how Americans will consume sports and (2) the impact it will have on state revenues and regulations.

To read more on this story click here.


*The views expressed herein are those solely of the author.