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Momentum building in US Sports Betting case

The

agasupremecourt
American Gaming Association (AGA) has joined 20 US states in filing amicus briefs in support of New Jersey’s appeal against the authority of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), which will be heard at the US Supreme Court later this year.

Amicus briefs, also known as “friend of the court” briefs, are filed in a legal case by uninvolved parties who have an interest in the legal opinion which is ultimately delivered. With the Supreme Court’s review potentially having significant consequences for the US gambling industry, many states are keen to jump on the legal bandwagon.

In its amicus brief, the AGA states that the “regulation of sports betting needs to be accomplished in a sensible manner that promotes, rather than thwarts, the strictures and principles of federalism. "PASPA has thus had the perverse effect of pushing an enormous market underground by way of federal decree while stamping out state and local efforts to adapt their own laws pursuant to their own citizens’ wishes.”

The separate 20 state amicus brief against PASPA is being spearheaded by West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrissey, who last year told justices in the third circuit court that: “The concern of Amici States—the States of West Virginia, Arizona, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Wisconsin—is not what Congress regulates but how it does so.

“Even where it has Article I authority to act, Congress may not force the States to act as the vehicle for implementing federal policy and thereby shift to the States political accountability for its actions. Such coercion is unconstitutional commandeering.”

In an interview with the Legal Sports Report, Geoff Freeman, president and CEO of the AGA, said that: “This group of bipartisan states includes representation from every corner of the country, from states with and without gaming and includes signees from state AG’s offices, as well as governors’ offices.

“It also includes the president of the National Association of AGs, both co-chairs of the NAAG gaming committee, and chair of the Conference of Western Attorneys General.

“Notably, it also includes the state of Utah, a state that does not have gambling, and is encouraging the federal government to get out of the way.”
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