If the tidal wave of momentum that legalized sports betting seems to be riding comes to fruition, residents of multiple states could be placing wagers on individual sporting events of all stripes by the end of 2018.
If that were to indeed come to pass, a debt of gratitude would be owed to the Garden State. New Jersey – albeit with vested interests firmly at the forefront – has exhibited impressive persistence in its mission to legalize the activity within its borders. The now near-decade-long quest could well be close to culminating in a favorable Supreme Court decision if recent rumblings prove accurate.
NJ Sports Betting | Supreme Court Case
New Jersey didn’t actually win anything when the US Supreme Court agreed to take its case in its ongoing efforts to legalize sports betting inside its borders, but it sure felt like one for the Garden State.
The nation’s highest court granted NJ’s appeal in the case that dates back to 2012 in two separate sports betting laws and strings of court appeals.
The two sides presented their oral arguments to the court on Dec. 4. Now, the Supreme Court will rule once and for all whether the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act — PASPA — is constitutional.
A finding for the pro sports leagues — the plaintiffs in the case — would result in the status quo, which is a prohibition on single-game wagering outside of Nevada. A finding for New Jersey would mean that the state could offer sports betting in the state. Other states, potentially, could also lift their sports betting bans in that scenario. (PASPA prevents any state from legalizing sports betting, currently.)
New Jersey has argued that the case is a matter of states’ rights. The federal government, NJ argues, is telling states what they can and can’t do with a law that violates the Tenth Amendment. That argument has not proved to be compelling in the lower courts, to date. Pretty much any other form of gambling states are allowed to legalize and regulate.
NJ Sports Betting FAQ
What happens next in the Supreme Court case?
Oral arguments for Murphy vs. NCAA (formerly Christie vs. NCAA) were heard by the Supreme Court on Dec. 4, 2017. Many legal experts weighing in post-hearing felt the proceedings went decidedly in favor of the Garden State.
The official date of a ruling is anyone’s guess, but there are potential dates in place. A decision won’t be handed down until Spring 2018. Here’s closer look at the timeline.
Where could I place sports bets if it was legal in NJ?
If New Jersey ever wins its case, any casino or racetrack in the state could offer sports betting. That includes all of the licensed properties in Atlantic City, as well the three racetracks: Monmouth Park, The Meadlowlands, and Freehold.
Initially, Monmouth Park was the only site set to introduce sports betting when the law was passed initially. However, if New Jersey wins, it’s safe to assume all of the gaming establishments in the state will eventually offer wagering.
Would this legalize NJ online sports betting?
But it’s unlikely that US sports betting sites would launch as quickly as land-based sportsbooks, even with a positive outcome in SCOTUS.
How will the Supreme Court ruling have an impact on other states?
If SCOTUS finds that PASPA unconstitutional, it opens the door for any state to legalize and regulate sports betting.
Connecticut and Pennsylvania are two states that have come close to passing laws that would legalize sports betting in the event of a change to PASPA, via the courts or Congress. Many more are likely to follow if New Jersey wins.
If New Jersey loses, the status quo will persist for sports betting nationwide.
What happens to sports betting if New Jersey loses?
After the latest loss for New Jersey, it might mean the only way for states to allow sports betting will be for Congress to repeal the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act — the federal law on which the New Jersey case is centered on.
A number of states have also passed laws regarding daily fantasy sports, which have not yet led to PASPA challenges.
State Sen. Ray Lesniak recently introduced a new bill that would attempt to legalize sports betting even if the state loses in SCOTUS, although its prospects are murky at best.