New Jersey finally wins a game in a long series

By Matt Youmans  (VSiN senior editor) 

June 28, 2017 12:28 AM
adamsilver
Adam Silver of the NBA was the first major commissioner to promote legalized sports betting. Silver favors federal oversight of sports betting instead of individual state regulations.
© USA Today Sports Images

Finally, there is a breakthrough in New Jersey’s pursuit of legalized sports betting. But it’s not time to give Gov. Chris Christie a Gatorade bath just yet.

A long shot hit Tuesday, when the United States Supreme Court agreed to hear New Jersey’s appeal in a case that dates to 2012. The state has attempted to circumvent a federal ban on sports betting, with no luck in the courts until now.

In August 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Philadelphia blocked New Jersey’s attempts to offer sports betting, and just one month ago, Acting Solicitor General Jeffrey B. Wall recommended to the Supreme Court that it not hear the state’s appeal. Both decisions were widely considered major setbacks.

So the Supreme Court’s announcement Tuesday was a surprise and possibly the first big step toward lifting the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), which has prohibited sports wagering outside of Nevada since 1992.

“Very few cases get granted certiorari by the Supreme Court, so I’m very optimistic,” Christie said. “This is a very good sign for sports betting having a future in New Jersey. I’m thrilled. We’re not declaring victory, but at least we’re in the game.”

Jimmy Vaccaro, a Las Vegas bookmaker since the 1970s, went to Washington, D.C. to speak on a panel hosted by the American Gaming Association last summer. (https://www.review​journal.com/sports/sports-columns/matt-youmans/sports-betting-finally-hitting-faster-track-to-legalization/)The potential legalization of sports betting on a national level was a major topic, and through all the twists and turns, Vaccaro has remained cautiously optimistic about New Jersey’s efforts.

“We still have a long way to go,” Vaccaro said Tuesday from the South Point sports book. “People think it’s going to be an automatic, but it’s still not a slam dunk.”

The Supreme Court is expected to hear New Jersey’s case late this year, with a decision coming by next spring or summer.

The American Gaming Association recently announced the formation of the American Sports Betting Coalition, a diverse group of law enforcement officials, states rights' advocates, policymakers and industry leaders aiming to get PASPA repealed.

The AGA released a statement that read in part: “We are pleased the Supreme Court appears to have responded favorably to our arguments as to why they should hear this important case. We are hopeful their engagement will provide further encouragement for Congress to take the steps necessary to create a regulated sports betting marketplace in the United States.”

AGA president Geoff Freeman said, “Today’s decision, despite the eventual outcome in the court, is another nail in the coffin of the failed federal prohibition of sports betting.”

Seven states — Pennsylvania, Michigan, South Carolina, New York, Maryland, West Virginia and Connecticut — have introduced sports betting bills in 2017 despite federal prohibition.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver’s influence is undeniable. Silver wrote a groundbreaking 2014 opinion piece for The New York Times in which he became the first major commissioner to come out in support of legalized sports betting. Silver favors federal oversight of sports betting instead of individual state regulations.

The landscape is shifting on several levels. The NHL awarding an expansion team to Las Vegas and the NFL voting to allow the Raiders to relocate from Oakland to Las Vegas were significant developments in the pro leagues’ acceptance of sports betting. (https://www.vsin.com/las-vegas-overcoming-obstacles-emerging-as-major-league-city/)

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred promoted Las Vegas as a viable baseball city this spring and said, “We are reexamining our stance on gambling.”

After denouncing legalized sports betting for years, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has slowly changed his tune. (https://www.vsin.com/goodell-nfl-not-requesting-betting-ban-in-nevada/) A day after the Raiders’ move was approved, Goodell said of sports wagering in Las Vegas, “You have the regulatory environment there, which actually will be beneficial.”

The sports wagering handle in Nevada was projected to approach $5 billion in 2016 (https://www.reviewjournal.com/sports/sports-columns/matt-youmans/nevada-sports-betting-could-be-a-5​-billion-industry/), but that’s a miniscule amount in comparison to the estimated $150 billion bet each year through illegal bookmakers.

“Regulated sports betting is what fans want and sports integrity demands,” Freeman said.

A number of Nevada bookmakers are in position to help integrate and regulate sports betting if it is legalized under a federal framework.

Never has legalized sports betting on a national level seemed so close to becoming a reality. It could happen as soon as 2018. Or the Supreme Court could shoot down the appeal, and at some point Congress probably will get involved.

Each story is a game within a long series, and New Jersey finally won a game.

“If it doesn’t happen this time,” Vaccaro said, “forget about it.”

back to news

QuickPicks_300x250_080920_NFLkickoff

Headlines

View All
  • Magny should shine in Fight Island 8

    Magny should shine in Fight Island 8

    Wednesday’s UFC event begins at 6 a.m. Pacific Time, so the theme might as well be Beatdowns and Bagels. Max Holloway dominated Calvin Kattar...
  • Watch bombers in Palm Springs event

    Watch bombers in Palm Springs event

    Kevin Na shot 61-65 on the weekend to win the Sony Open in Hawaii at as high as 80-1 odds. Na (40-1) will attempt to win in back-to-back weeks this week...
  • Schedule critical in CBB futures bets

    Schedule critical in CBB futures bets

    Last week we discussed the importance of taking a positive approach to college basketball futures betting. That is, focus on playing plus numbers instead...
  • First impressions as hockey returns

    First impressions as hockey returns

    It’s great to have hockey back, but bettors must temper their expectations and trust their preseason projections. Therefore, this is a great time...
  • Tuley's Takes on Championship Sunday

    Tuley's Takes on Championship Sunday

    The NFL’s divisional playoff round was a mixed bag for us here at the Tuley’s Takes home office, though I spent Saturday at Circa with VSiN...
  • Injuries dog Chiefs, but Packers on roll

    Injuries dog Chiefs, but Packers on roll

    And then there were four. We’re looking forward to what is maybe the single best day on the NFL calendar: Championship Sunday. The matchups are...
  • Championship Sunday: Sifting recent trends

    Championship Sunday: Sifting recent trends

    For as different as this NFL season has been due to the impact of COVID-19, the first two weeks of the playoffs have generally followed the trends of...
  • How to gain edge betting CBB rematches

    How to gain edge betting CBB rematches

    (To view the charts with this report, subscribe to Point Spread Weekly) In a typical college basketball season, and to a lesser degree this season,...
  • Mahomes mystery puts oddsmakers in bind

    Mahomes mystery puts oddsmakers in bind

    It’s generally easy for oddsmakers to post lines on most NFL games. The numbers are typically airtight, unlike in college football. A quarterback...
  • Championship Sunday capsules

    Championship Sunday capsules

    NFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME Buccaneers at Packers (3:05 p.m. ET Sunday) The Packers opened as consensus four-point home favorites against the...
  • With Pacers surging, Clippers on long haul

    With Pacers surging, Clippers on long haul

    Another week gone, and bettors have yet to see any NBA team separate itself from the pack. The Los Angeles Lakers seem like the surest thing on the board,...
  • 10 months in making, going all in on Bucs

    10 months in making, going all in on Bucs

    I made some bets on the Buccaneers last March that are now very much alive. These were placed the night before Tom Brady announced where he was signing....

Google Play
App Store
Close