Third Circuit Deals Setback to New Jersey Sports Betting Effort
On September 17, a panel of the federal Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit upheld a lower court’s decision invalidating a 2012 New Jersey statute that would allow sports betting at licensed casinos and racetracks. New Jersey had argued that the Professional and Amateur Sports Betting Act of 1992 (PASPA), which currently prohibits any state but Nevada from permitting single-game sports betting, was outside Congress’s powers under the Commerce Clause and impermissibly violated Tenth Amendment federalism principles. In addition, the state argued that the plaintiffs in the case (the NCAA, NBA, NFL, NHL, and MLB) lacked standing to challenge the New Jersey law. By a 2-1 decision, the panel rejected New Jersey’s arguments, while the dissenting judge would have struck down PASPA on federalism grounds.