December date set for Supreme Court sports betting hearing

  • Verbal hearing set to take place at the Supreme High Court on December 4
  • Five of the nine high court judges need to rule in favour if changes are to be made

On December 4, the United States Supreme Court will hear verbal arguments with regards to the proposed legalization of sports betting in some states across the US.

New Jersey sports betting
US Supreme Court

New Jersey is one state that has been a leading proponent for a change in the law to allow sports betting for some time, thus the December 4 hearing represents a significant step in the right direction.

Verbal hearing

It is important to note that the hearing on December 4 is only verbal and no passing of legislation would take place until next year at the earliest if an agreement can be reached.

New Jersey has seen its signature gambling city, Atlantic City occasionally struggle to compete with its Nevada counterpart but that could change if the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) mandate is amended or revoked for a new set of new regulations.

The Washington Post has reported that a poll carried out by the University of Massachusetts found that 55% supported amending or repealing PASPA.

It shows a marked change in public opinion as, when PASPA was introduced a majority of the population were reportedly in agreement with the ban of online sports betting.

However, there remains opposition. The NFL’s Roger Goodell still opposes New Jersey’s case, with alleged concerns that gambling would jeopardize the integrity of professional football games.

Money matters

The legalisation of online sports betting across the board could have some significant financial rewards. The American Gaming Association claims that some $150 billion is wagered on online sports betting.

The potential for a significant increase in taxes for States will no doubt make its way into the argument, with the alleged possibility of driving up revenue by close to 10% based on the above figure.

What happens now

For now, we wait for December 4. However, what happens after that is critical. The Supreme High Court will reportedly consider the matter after the hearing.

Five of the nine high court judges will need to be in favour of New Jersey and if that happens then 2018 will be a key year for online sports betting in the USA.

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