The United States Supreme Court has reportedly scheduled a date to hear oral arguments as part of the lawsuit brought by New Jersey that seeks to overturn a 25-year-old piece of federal legislation that bans sportsbetting in all but four states.
According to a report from CalvinAyre.com citing a story from The Washington Post newspaper, the nation’s highest court is to consider the case of Christie v NCAA on December 4 although no final decision is expected until at least the summer.
New Jersey held a successful state-wide referendum in 2012 before ratifying legislation two years later that legalized sportsbetting. However, its attempts to subsequently license and launch such services faced opposition from numerous professional sports leagues as well as the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). The latter even took the state to court before last year winning an injunctive action in front of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Philadelphia.
As part of its opposition, the NCAA had cited the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) of 1992, which forbids all wagering on sports outside of Nevada, Delaware, Montana and Oregon. New Jersey had unsuccessfully argued that this federal legislation was unconstitutional as it granted excessive powers to professional sports leagues and granted rights to some states that were not available to others.
After losing, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie immediately declared that he would be appealing the decision while June saw the Republican’s efforts rewarded after the nine-member United States Supreme Court announced that it would hear the matter in full.
New Jersey’s efforts to overturn PASPA has been gathering support from other states including West Virginia, Arizona, Mississippi, Louisiana and Wisconsin, which presented themselves as ‘amici curiae’, or friends of the court, via an amicus brief filed before the United States Supreme Court in November. All of these are reportedly eager to do away with the current federal rules on sportsbetting so that they can legalize such services and subsequently collect taxes by licensing operators.