New Jersey’s casino industry has plunged by nearly 50 percent in the last decade and five out of Atlantic City’s twelve casinos have been shutdown in the last 5 years. The once thriving casino industry used to contribute a significant amount of revenue for Atlantic City in the form of gaming taxes, create thousands of jobs and boost tourism numbers significantly.
New Jersey Goes After PASPA
The slowdown in the state’s economy has not helped the casino industry putting both state legislators and gaming regulators under immense pressure to find a solution. New Jersey lifted the ban on online gambling a few years ago in an attempt to create another revenue stream and so far the results have been good but not as expected. New Jersey is now looking to get the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 better known as PASPA dropped, so that the state can launch sports betting services.
Sports betting is a massive market in the United States and since it is illegal in the majority of states, the underground sports betting market has thrived with every passing year. Nevada, Delaware, Oregon and Montana are the only states that do not have the PASPA law imposed on them.
New Jersey Files Petition With High Court
Industry analysts estimate that the current illegal betting market in the country will generate around $150 billion this year. New Jersey wants the Supreme Court to lift the PASPA ban and allow it to offer legalized sports betting services and tap into this lucrative market that will generate millions of dollars for the state coffers. New Jersey made a filing with the High Court on August 29 stating that it should not be compelled to follow PASPA when New Jersey believes that it will benefit greatly from offering sports betting services.
The New Jersey filing with the high court said “To meet Congress’s objective of forestalling further legalization of sports wagering, PASPA directs States to maintain in effect their state-law prohibitions on the activity. Our constitutional structure does not permit Congress to regulate interstate commerce in that manner. Under our Constitution, if Congress wishes for sports wagering to be illegal, it must make the activity unlawful itself. It cannot compel states to do so.”
The state of New Jersey had passed a non-binding referendum in 2011 to allow sports betting and was sued in 2012 by four of the top leagues in the country along with the NCAA.  The leagues were against the legalization of sports betting as they believe it would increase the chances of match fixing in sports and thereby compromise the integrity of the leagues and their games.
Sports Expert Believes New Jersey Can Win
Daniel Wallach who is an expert in sports law and a lawyer in Florida believes that New Jersey has a good chance of getting the High Court to rule in its favor. Wallach said that state had put forth a solid argument based on the fact that Congress does not have the right to enforce upon states what they should and should not decriminalize within their borders. He believes that it is very likely that New Jersey will be able to offer sports betting services once the case is over. What will be interesting to note is whether only New Jersey is granted an exception to the PASPA law or other states in the country will also get an exemption.
AGA Also Campaigns Against PASPA
The American Gaming Association (AGA) has been one of the biggest opponents of the PASPA act stating that it does more harm than good.  The AGA believes that PASPA has outlived its purpose and it is now time for legislators to pass a new law that will allow legalized sports betting in America.
The AGA has pointed out that PASPA has been one of the key reasons why the underground sports betting market has grown so rapidly over the years and has turned into a multi-billion dollar business. The AGA also highlighted the fact that the money generated from illegal sports betting is not being monitored and could very well be used for money laundering activities and to fund terrorist and criminal gangs.

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