NJ Finds Help In Sports Betting Case with Five States and AGA

by Jim Hall

American Gaming AssociationFive states and the American Gaming Association join the fight for sports betting alongside New Jersey.

Sports betting has been a sore spot in the state of New Jersey for some time now. Legislators have tried to add sports betting to the list of gaming offerings provided by the state but have failed to be able to do so. Legislation actually passed but on a federal level, only four states are allowed to offer such gaming and New Jersey is not one of them. The state has taken their battle to court and been shot down numerous times. Now, five states join the fray along with the American Gaming Association, trying to see changes so that sports betting will be legalized on a broader scale.

Five States Join the Fight

New Jersey is no longer along in their plight as five states have now filed an amicus petition within the Supreme Court. These states include Wisconsin, West Virginia, Mississippi, Louisiana and Arizona. Each of the states filed as amici curiae, with Wisconsin and West Virginia having tried to help New Jersey in the past in attempts to legalize sports betting.

Within the West Virginia filing, the state has revealed that they are worried that the court has set a precedent as to how Congress will regulate industries based on the decision of sports betting in the state. West Virginia wants to see changes as to how Congress regulates. In the filing, it shows that the federal ban on sports betting by the court has taken away the rights of the state. As the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act remains in place, the court has expanded the doctrine of federal preemption and kept the states from repealing existing laws without create a federal regulatory scheme.

American Gaming Association in the Mix

The American Gaming Association is an organization that continues to work towards gaming rights in the state and are the latest group to join in the fight for sports betting. It was reported yesterday that the AGA filed an amicus brief on Wednesday to detail their belief that the failed prohibition presents fundamental questions about the states sovereignty to define their own laws and combat crime within their borders.

The AGA is basically saying what the five states are that the PASPA is unconstitutional as it takes away the states authority. The AGA also added that a growing number of citizens in the United States are in favor of legalized sports betting.

Will the President-Elect Add Sway to the Matter?

With Donald Trump set to take office in January as the President of the United States, many are wondering if he will help to push along sports betting for the state. Trump has a long history in the casino industry and seemingly understands gaming, even though many of his gaming efforts failed to be successful in the long run.

We do know that the Supreme Court will be deciding if they will hear the appeal of New Jersey but now we must wonder if Trump will try to sway the court to take on the case. When Trump was involved with casino gaming in Atlantic City, he pushed the state of New Jersey to use the grandfathering clause of the PASPA to be able to legalize sports betting. Basically he wanted this to be done to keep his taxes at a low rate, but he still wanted it to happen. However, lawmakers did not take advantage of the clause and missed out on the opportunity to offer such gaming options.

It will be interesting to see what happens in this case, especially now that more states are involved as well as the AGA.