After months of waiting, the US Supreme Court has begun hearing arguments related to the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, commonly referred to as PASPA. This act became law in 1992 and is the act responsible for preventing American states from allowing sports betting. As we all know, New Jersey has challenged the act, and the Supreme Court will now have to decide whether it wants to uphold or overturn PASPA.
Supreme Court Must Decide PASPA’s Future
The question being raised by New Jersey is if Federal law has the right to impose restrictions on certain states, while other states are not required to follow those restrictions. When it comes to sports betting, four states are legally allowed to offer it. These include Nevada, Montana, Delaware, and Oregon. This is because it was already legal in these states when PASPA came into effect.
In addition to this, New Jersey believes that PASPA violates the Tenth Amendment, which allows states to govern themselves. In 2011, the residents of the state voted to allow sports betting, but this was not allowed to happen due to PASPA.
Supreme Court Case Started on Monday
The Supreme Court started hearing arguments at 10 am Eastern Time on Monday. While the case has started, no one is exactly sure how long deliberations will take. We do know that a verdict is not expected until 2018. Many believe we will hear the Supreme Court’s decision between April and June.
No one is all that certain what the Supreme Court will decide either. In the last 228 years, it has only overturned federal law using the Tenth Amendment on four occasions. However, just getting to the Supreme Court was a victory in itself for New Jersey’s case. The Supreme Court receives about 8000 case requests every year, with less than 100 accepted.
If PASPA does get repealed, it is expected that as many as 20 states could legalize sports betting within the next 5-10 years, creating a $5+ billion market.