New Jersey Unofficially Introduces New Bill To Repeal PASPA
Just 24 hours after the state’s case against PASPA took a turn for the worse, one federal representative has launched yet another effort to bring legalized sports betting to the state.
The GAME Act
On Thursday, Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) introduced the first draft of the Gaming Accountability and Modernization Act, or Game Act, which would serve as another vehicle toward legal sports betting. The GAME Act proposes that those residing in states that have authorized sports betting be protected from criminal persecution for betting online or at a brick-and-mortar venue. Under the Act, sports betting, daily fantasy contests, and eSports are included under the definition of betting.
There would also be provisions requiring states that offer these forms of betting to protect consumers’ best interests by implementing certain safeguards. Consumer protection measures include financial crime prevention, tax reporting, privacy protection, underage gaming prohibition, and upholding the integrity of the sporting event.
“Despite the federal gaming laws in place today, Americans are betting up to $400 billion a year on sporting events alone,” said Rep. Pallone in an interview. “It’s time to recognize that the laws are outdated, and the GAME Act will modernize them by increasing transparency, integrity, and consumer protections.”
League’s Are Open To Discussion
The GAME Act is considered a discussion draft, being used garner feedback from various stakeholders. Attitudes have slowly started to shift across the board, with the NHL and NFL both moving teams to Sin City, and the MLB also considering a franchise relocation to Vegas. Of all the professional sports leagues, National Basketball Association Commissioner Adam Silver has been most vocal about his interest in regulated sports betting. The proposal seems to provide the protection of game integrity and consumer safeguards that Silver has suggested in the past. As of yet, there is no end date set on when the act will move toward the next steps of legal action.
What’s Next For New Jersey Sports Betting
The draft bill comes only one day after the Acting Solicitor General Jeffrey Wall filed a brief suggesting that the Supreme Court should not go forward with hearing New Jersey's appeal after lower courts ruled in favor of the major North American sports leagues.
History has shown that when deciding on whether or not to hear a case, the Court takes heed to the Solicitor General’s opinion much more frequently than it goes against it. There is still a chance that SCOTUS will take the case, but betting stakeholders and lawmakers have already started preparing for the high court to decline the appeal. The plan is to exercise the ‘Nuclear Option’, which would repeal PASPA and all laws against betting within New Jersey. The goal is to create a ‘free for all’ betting environment that would hopefully force major sports leagues to support regulated sports betting and urge the federal government to declare the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act unconstitutional.
Dennis Drazin of the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association has the following to say regarding the next steps to be taken by New Jersey:
"We’re moving forward with the full repeal. We’re anticipating Supreme Court won’t take the case, so we’re anticipating trying to get that moved sometime next month."
He continued by describing how the full repeal is the only way to ensure that there will not be ongoing legal battles waged by the four professional leagues and the NCAA.
"We certainly know from all the courts and the briefs from the leagues and the solicitor general that a full repeal is something that cannot be challenged,” said Drazin.” Now, the leagues may try to go back to court again, but every court has said if you want to do the full repeal we’re good to go, so that is the plan."