The American Gaming Association (AGA), along with five US states, have joined the State of New Jersey’s fight to legalize sports betting in the United States.
It’s just the latest twist in an ongoing legal saga that’s taken on new dimension since the shock election of US leader Donald Trump.
Along with the AGA, Arizona; Louisiana; Mississippi; West Virginia; and Wisconsin filed amicus briefs with the court. These filings indicate a formal support of New Jersey’s bid to have its case heard before the United States Supreme Court.
In a statement on its website, the AGA explained its position saying:
The 24-year-old federal ban –which is breathing life into a $150 billion illegal sports betting market — threatens the integrity of games, presents fundamental questions about states’ sovereignty to define their own laws and combat crime within their borders, and prevents fans from engaging with the sports they enjoy in a safe, legal way.
But there’s still plenty that could happen between now and then and much of it hinges on how Trump behaves once he takes office in January.
For starters, there’s no guarantee that the Supreme Court. which is supremely divided between liberal and conservative judges, would rule in New Jersey’s favor in the first place.
There’s also the possibility that court would refuse to hear the case and that would pretty much end the Garden State’s legal options, but not its political options.
There’s always a chance that a Trump-led US Department of Justice would decide to quit enforcing current US policies like Professional and Amateur Sports Act (PASPA) and Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA). According to ESPN.com, Trump is already on record supporting legalized gambling in Atlantic City, where he himself once owned a casino.
That idea isn’t necessarily as far-fetched as it might sound. The DOJ, under current President Barrack Obama, opted not to enforce the Wire Act of 1964, an act that paved the way for the country’s first legalized online gambling.
While very little is certain at this point, it’s clear that the AGA is betting on a gambling-friendly Trump administration.
The US Supreme Court will decide whether or not to hear the case sometime in early 2017.