Supreme Court Strikes Down ‘Affront To State Sovereignty,’ Opens Door To Sports Betting Nationwide

In a victory for the state of New Jersey, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a federal ban on sports betting Monday. According to Sports Illustrated, the ruling could open the door for as many as 25 other states to seek wagering on college and professional sports, along the lines of New Jersey’s bid.

The law that was struck down, the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) didn’t specifically outlaw sports gambling across the country, but it said states weren’t allow to enact it. Nevada, the only state that currently allows betting on individual games, was exempt from the PASPA. Delaware, Oregon and Montana were also grandfathered in.

New Jersey’s challenge to the PASPA has been winding its way through the court system for years. In today’s ruling,
 Justice Samuel Alito, writing for the majority, said the issue with the law is that it puts state legislatures under the direct control of Congress.

“A more direct affront to state sovereignty is not easy to imagine,” wrote Alito.

New Jersey’s Monmouth Park was ready to pounce on today’s decision. The racetrack plans to open a sports book within weeks.

`Obviously we’re thrilled. It’s been a long fight,” Dennis Drazin, president and CEO of Darby Development LLC, the track operator told USA Today.

The New Jersey state senator who got the ball rolling years ago on trying to push forward with sports gambling was Ray Lesniak. He told USA Today: “When I started this nobody gave me a snowball’s chance in hell. I was criticized for trying nothing more than a Hail Mary pass, and today I completed it. It’s a great day for New Jersey.”

In recent months, tracks and other racing executives across the country have discussed how to prepare for and take advantage of this potential Supreme Court ruling.

Read more at USA Today and NBC News

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