Gaming industry backs NJ’s fight for sports betting
The American Gaming Association says they are solidly behind New Jersey's efforts to change federal law to allow states to participate in sports betting.
New Jersey will argue its case for changing the law before the U.S. Supreme Court on Dec. 4.
This case started to move through the courts as a reaction to 2011 activity in New Jersey, when the state voted for a constitutional amendment to permit sports betting. In 2012, the Legislature enacted the Sports Wagering Act to allow sports betting in New Jersey casinos and racetracks. As a result, multiple leagues sued the state, claiming they were violating PASPA.
Although the high court will hear oral arguments for and against allowing sports betting in all states, they are not expected to issue a ruling before next spring at the earliest.
AGA spokeswoman Sara Slane says of The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992: "With the oral arguments scheduled, and increasing support from around the country, PASPA's days are numbered, and it is time to change this law."
Slane says illegal sports betting has grown to a $150 billion-a-year industry. The AGA maintains that 98 percent of all sports game bets will be made illegally. She says a lot has changed since this law was enacted in 1992.
"Fans are more personally invested in their teams than ever before, thanks in no small part to the fantasy sports," she says.
"Today, gaming is omnipresent, with over a thousand casinos in 40 states, generating $38 billion in tax revenues for governments and supporting 1.7 million jobs. Further, American attitudes have changed since initial passage of PASPA: 85 percent of the American public sees casino gambling as an acceptable form of entertainment. And gaming's relationship with sports has changed. In 1992, it was inconceivable that Las Vegas would ever be home to professional sports teams. But the Las Vegas Golden Knights are having a great inaugural season. Just yesterday, crews broke ground on the Raiders stadium site, not far from the strip."
Joe Cutter is the afternoon news anchor on New Jersey 101.5.
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