HomePublicationsNewsletter ArchiveVolume 19Issue 26G2E Panel Discussion Focuses on Potential Sports Wagering Expansion

panel discussion at last week’s Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas focused on the existing efforts to try to expand legalized sports wagering throughout the United States.  The panel discussion, entitled “It’s a Fantasy: How Sports Betting Can Work in All Casinos,” was moderated by attorney Lloyd Levenson, President of Cooper Levenson, Attorneys at Law.  Panelists included Bill Pascrell, a lobbyist with Princeton Public Affairs Group; Art Manteris, Vice President of Race and Sports Book Operations at Station Casinos; Eamon Tolland, President of Paddy Power North America; and Steve Roberg, Managing Director of Virtual Racing Systems at Inspired Gaming Group.

Given the ongoing lawsuit between the State of New Jersey and the U.S. Federal Government regarding 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. Mr. Pascrell, who is a lobbyist in New Jersey and has been involved in this issue in the past, shared his opinion that it is not a question of “if” sports wagering is allowed in New Jersey, but a question of “when.”  He noted that, although the Third Circuit Court of Appeals recently upheld the constitutionality of PASPA, he was encouraged by the dissenting opinion in the case, which he believes effectively stated the rationale as to why PASPA should be found unconstitutional.  Mr. Pascrell also stated his opinion that the current U.S. Supreme Court is uniquely positioned to take up this case and rule in New Jersey’s favor, hopefully by the end of 2014.

Mr. Tolland spoke to his company’s successful on-line sports wagering operations in Europe, and stressed that, in an effort to combat corruption and the possible throwing of sporting contests, his company works with the European sports leagues and makes them aware of any wagering anomalies that could suggest illicit activity occurring in a particular game or match. Mr. Tolland also expressed confidence that sports wagering will be available in the United States in the near future.

Mr. Manteris noted that fantasy sports wagering has not really taken root in Nevada, and further shared his opinion that there is no compelling evidence that it would work in a Nevada casino/sports book environment, though he did note that it could be successful in other jurisdicitons.  Mr. Pascrell also stated that, although New Jersey has passed regulations for fantasy sports wagering in the Atlantic City properties, not a single casino has yet to publicly offer these wagers.  He did note, however, that the New Jersey casino operators are currently busy gearing up for intrastate internet wagering.

 

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