The Supreme Court ruling on New Jersey’s challenge to federal gambling laws is closely followed by the entire United States. The Christie v. NCAA case looks at the 25-year old Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) of 1992.
The industry experts see it as a landmark event that can reform sports gambling throughout the nation besides weeding out many illegal activities. The ruling in favour is believed to curb the illegal, underground gambling market which is assessed at $150 billion annually. The verdict is expected to open gambling floodgates nationwide, much like casino gambling did in Atlantic City in 1978.
Taking a cue from the case, 15 states across the United States have introduced sports gambling bills in 2017. Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Mississippi and Montana are the four states to have already enacted legislation paving the way for in-state betting on sports.
On December 4, a hearing took place in the Supreme Court of the United States, with the state of New Jersey making a bid for the federal government to lift its nearly national ban on sports betting.
On the same day, Republican Dina Titus (D - Nevada) wrote to the House Energy and Commerce Committee with a request for a hearing on sports betting. A few days later, Republican Frank Pallone Jr. (D - New Jersey) introduced the Gaming Accountability and Modernization Enhancement Act, or GAME Act which could give states the legal framework to adopt sports betting.
Earlier, the American Gaming Association President and CEO Geoff Freeman had raised the issues with PASPA, saying that the act has not been able to restrain the wave of criminal activity associated with offshore gambling.
It was in June 2017 that the Supreme Court announced that it would hear New Jersey's plea in the fall of 2017 for legalization of sports betting in New Jersey. A poll in November by the Washington Post and the University of Massachusetts Lowell found that 55 percent of adults in the U.S. approved of legalizing betting on pro sporting events.