Supreme Court Hears Sports Wagering Oral Arguments

Reporters and expert analysts said Dec. 4 that the Supreme Court appears to be leaning toward giving states the ability to allow legal sports wagering.

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments Dec. 4 as it considers the sports wagering issue in a case brought by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie against the National Collegiate Athletic Association. The Court is examining the constitutionality of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA), which prohibits sports betting outside of Nevada and a handful of more regulated states.

Should PASPA be overturned by the Court or ended by lawmakers, New Jersey and other states are poised to move forward with legal sports wagering. New Jersey voters already have approved the addition of sports wagering at racetracks and casinos. Monmouth Park has a facility in place to add sports wagering.

The Supreme Court is not expected to issue a decision until June in the case, but as for reading the tea leaves:

In a statement, American Gaming Association president and CEO Geoff Freeman predicted the end of PASPA one way or another.

"Today is a positive day for the millions of Americans seeking to legally wager on sporting events. While we can't predict the intentions of Supreme Court Justices, we can accurately predict the demise of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection of 1992," Freeman said. "The justices of the Court expressed deep interest in the role of the federal government, a role that we believe has created a thriving illegal market that has driven trillions of dollars to offshore websites and corner bookies. States and tribal sovereign nations have proven to be effective regulators of gaming and today's oral arguments before the Supreme Court moved them one giant step closer to offering a new product that Americans demand."