States Rumbling Over US Sports Betting Ban
With gambling the primary solution for politicians seeking to continue their massive spending without raising taxes, the federal ban in the US on sports betting is coming under increasing attack by the states. Some states are officially asking Congress to repeal the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992, while others are demanding the courts act.
State legislatures in both Missouri and Rhode Island have measures that appeal to Congress to remove the gambling ban on sports in the US. And New Jersey and Delaware have both initiated legal maneuvers to force the law to be withdrawn.
Delaware, having lost in an earlier battle with the NFL on the exact nature of PASPA, is pursuing its case to the US Supreme Court. Delaware, which is one of four states grandfathered in for the right to operate sports betting, was shocked to hear a US Appeals Court rule that it is only eligible for previously employed methods of sports gambling.
New Jersey state Senator Ray Lezniak is determined to clear the path to saving his state's casinos and gambling interests. Lesniak is at the heart of a suit seeking the striking of PASPA for discriminating among the states, a violation of the Commerce Clause.
Lesniak is also already pushing legislation in New Jersey allowing sports betting at Atlantic City casinos. While the federal law may block implementation of Lesniak's state constitutional amendment, passing the bill would put New Jersey in place to act immediately when the federal law is changed.
"And when it passes with support from 75 percent of our voters it will send a message to those in Congress that this is something people want," Lesniak told ESPN.com.
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