NJ Congressmen Request Review of Congress’ Role in Sports Betting Laws in US

Late last week, two congressmen of New Jersey released a letter that was addressed to the House Judiciary Committee leaders, asking the leaders to review the role of Congress in shaping the United States sports betting laws. Reportedly, the congressmen were in the process of collecting signatures to see such a review take place, beginning late last month.

According to Sportshandle.com, Congressmen Donald Norcross and Frank LoBiondo created the letter that discusses the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, or PASPA of 1992. This federal law bans states aside from Nevada, from operating sportsbooks as well as licensing operations of sports betting. The state of New Jersey and the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association are currently going head to head with the NCAA and other pros sports leagues regarding PASPA, with the case set to be heard by the United States Supreme Court.

Oral arguments are set to begin in the case on December 4th and New Jersey would like to see PASPA ruled as unconstitutional. Other states in the US have already begun to look at sports betting legislation in the hopes that the court rules in New Jersey’s favor, so they too can be set to offer sports betting options within their borders.

In the letter, the congressmen address their issues with PASPA as well as their goals in regard to sports betting. The letter requests that the relevant committees examine the issue before the ruling by the Court to ensure that Congress is fully informed and positioned to respond quickly to the decision by the Court if necessary.

Despite the Court’s decision, the congressmen believe that an immediate review of PASPA by Congress is warranted as the illegal market for sports betting has grown to an estimated $150 billion each year, in the years since the PASPA legislation was created. The congressmen pointed out that the illegal market does not protect consumers and deprives both local and state jurisdictions from revenues that could be spent in a regulated marketplace.

The congressmen pointed out that the failure of PASPA to prevent illegal sports betting from taking place as well as preventing regulation and taxation of the activity has prompted states to enact or advance measures within legislation to authorize sports betting in recent years.

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