The US Supreme Court will hear oral arguments regarding Christie vs. NCAA et al, New Jersey’s case to legalize sports betting beginning on December 4.
This June, the Supreme Court agreed to take up the case, but it hadn’t set a date until this month. While the case will focus on sports betting in New Jersey in particular, its final verdict will have repercussions for most of the country.
Why? New Jersey is contesting that the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PAPSA) is unconstitutional and in violation of states’ rights. If PAPSA is overturned in the aftermath of the Supreme Court hearing, the 40 or so US states that house casinos could each consider legalizing sports betting.
“Our brief… argues that the law fails to achieve the Congressional objective of curtailing the negative community impacts of sports betting. It is not even rationally related to this goal, nor to safeguarding the integrity of professional sports,” wrote Jeff Ifrah.
Sports betting has become especially topical considering that in 2017, it has become a $1.5 billion dollar industry. However, since most people do their sports betting online and iGaming still exists in a legal quandary thanks to PAPSA, that money isn’t always going to the states or the casinos where the betting takes place.
If PAPSA is overturned, experts suggest that sports betting could open up a previously untapped $5.8 billion dollar industry in the United States.
“[T]his industry is expanding in many positive ways, aided by revolutions in online technology,” said Ifrah. “It is our position that all states seeking to broaden their revenue and employment opportunities should be free to welcome this burgeoning industry.”