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Supreme Court to Hear NJ’s Challenge to Federal Sports Betting Ban

By Geoff Freeman, President, American Gaming Association

This week, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) agreed to hear New Jersey’s challenge to the failing federal sports betting ban. This follows AGA’s filing of an amicus brief with the Court in 2016 and encouragingSCOTUS to take the case.

To stay informed of the latest news on sports betting, sign up for our newsletter at You can also view the ASBC Toolkit collateral on AGA’s website, which has talking points and facts sheets about sports betting.

AGA is hopeful that the SCOTUS decision spurs “Congress to take the steps necessary to create a regulated sports betting marketplace in the United States.”

AGA released this statement following the news:

“The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) of 1992 has failed to protect sports and fans. PASPA, which is approaching its 25th anniversary, is fueling an unregulated $150 billion illegal gambling market that continues to deprive states of vital public funding for services such as law enforcement and infrastructure.

We are pleased the Supreme Court appears to have responded favorably to our arguments as to why they should hear this important case. And we are hopeful their engagement will provide further encouragement for Congress to take the steps necessary to create a regulated sports betting marketplace in the United States.

The gaming industry, and the American Sports Betting Coalition, is committed to working with all relevant stakeholders to build a system that protects states’ rights, fans and the integrity of sports.” 

The announcement comes following AGA’s launch of the American Sports Betting Coalition (ASBC), a collection of a diverse group of stakeholders dedicated to ending the 25-year-old failing federal sports betting ban. The ASBC unites law enforcement, states rights’ advocates, state and local policymakers and gaming industry leaders.

AGA’s news release generated significant national news coverage: The Washington Post highlighted AGA’s statement that PASPA has failed to protect sports and fans. The New York Times wrote about AGA’s recent launch of the ASBC. The Associated Press highlighted research that said that legalized, regulated “sports betting in the U.S. could support more than 150,000 jobs.”

CDC Gaming Reports noted that AGA has consistently highlighted the failure of PASPA in recent years:

For more than two years, the Washington D.C.-based organization has argued that despite PASPA’s existence, sports betting remains a healthy – although illegal – activity. The AGA estimates Americans wager more the $150 billion annually on sports with unregulated offshore gambling websites and the corner bookies.

…during Super Bowl week, the World Series and the NCAA Basketball Tournament – the organization highlights the failure of PASPA to halt illegal sports gambling. The efforts have been constant, creative and kept the issue alive in front of the public – which includes an audience of Washington D.C. decision makers.

We will continue to highlight PASPA’s failure in the coming months, and urge Congress to take the steps necessary to create a regulated sports betting marketplace.