HomePublicationsNewsletter ArchiveVolume 19Issue 14U.S. Sports Wagering Expansion Update

On April 29, 2013, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, as well as the President of the New Jersey Senate, the Speaker of the New Jersey General Assembly, the Director of the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, the Executive Director of the New Jersey Racing Commission, and the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horseman’s Association, filed respective Appellate Briefs with the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals challenging, among other things, a lower court’s decision upholding the constitutionality of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (“PASPA”), the federal law which prohibits the expansion of sports wagering outside of the licensed Nevada sports books and certain limited lottery games and sports pools previously authorized in Oregon, Delaware and Montana.  The underlying lawsuit, filed by the NCAA and the professional sports leagues (the NFL, NBA, NHL and Major League Baseball), challenged a sports wagering law recently enacted by the New Jersey legislature and sought an injunction that would prohibit the Atlantic City Casinos and New Jersey horse race tracks from offering sports wagering.  The U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey agreed with the position of the NCAA and the professional sports leagues and issued an Opinion and Order granting their Motion for Summary Judgment and Request for Permanent Injunction on February 28, 2013.  Governor Christie and the other appellant parties are appealing this decision.

Notably, on May 6, 2013, the states of West Virginia, Georgia, Kansas and Virginia filed an amicus brief in support of this appeal.

The NCAA and the professional sports leagues are required to file their Appellee Briefs on or before next Thursday, May 23, 2013.  The matter is expected to be heard by the Court in late-June.

In addition to the current legal action analyzing the constitutionality of PASPA, in February, two separate bills that seek to amend that law were introduced in Congress. House Resolution (“HR”) 625, which seeks to allow any state that enacts a sports lottery, sweepstakes or other wagering scheme during a four year period (running from January 1, 2013 through January 1, 2017) to be exempt from PASPA, and HR 626, which seeks to exclude only the State of New Jersey from PASPA’s sports wagering prohibition, were initially referred to the House Judiciary Committee.  On April 8, 2013, both bills were referred to the House Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security and Investigations.   These current bills mirror proposals that were introduced during the last Congressional session, though neither prior bill (HR 3797 and HR 3809) was able to make it out of the House Judiciary Committee.


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