U.S. Supreme Court Declares PASPA Unconstitutional

Published: May 15, 2018

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It took over 25 years for it to happen. The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), which was promulgated in 1992, has today been declared unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court. There may be no direct benefit for online casino gamers in the United States. But if this verdict leads to legalised sports betting across America, both online and offline, then the gambling industry will grow and there pressure for legalised federal online casino gambling will increase.

First of all the gaming industry has applauded the U.S. Supreme Court decision, which was given in the Murphy v. NCAA case. Jeff Ifrah is a founding partner of Ifrah Law and founding member of iDevelopment and Economic Association (iDEA), a trade association representing the growing industry of internet gaming and entertainment. Mr. Ifrah represents clients in all sectors of the gaming industry, including companies whose operations moved overseas due to the United States’ onerous regulations preventing sports betting. He said, “The Supreme Court’s decision is a jackpot for not just sports betting but the entire gaming industry in general.”

Mr. Ifrah predicts that the entertainment companies that were driven to offshore locations will now return to the country and bring jobs and economic opportunities with them. He points out that states like Illinois, Michigan and New York have been waiting for this opportunity. They are likely to move in quickly. Then a positive domino effect will be created with other states following suit.

American Gaming Association President and CEO Geoff Freeman also released a statement after the Supreme Court’s opinion. He referred to a Washington Post survey, which said that 55% of Americans believe that it is time to end the federal ban on sports betting. He argued that through smart and efficient regulation of sports betting America can protect consumers, preserve the integrity of the games and empower law enforcement to fight illegal gambling. At the same time the process will generate new revenue for states and boost the industry and economy in general.

The suit was filed by the state of New Jersey in the time of Governor Christie. The present governor is Murphy. Ifrah Law on behalf of iDEA submitted a “friend of the court” or amicus brief in this case. The basic argument was that that the PASPA violates the right of each state to decide for themselves how to regulate and grow their own economies. Justice Alito delivered the 49-page opinion of the court. The opinion was not unanimous.


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