Sports Law Blog
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Thursday, December 02, 2004
 

Can Congress Prevent Sports Gambling?: In 1992, Congress passed the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act. The act prohibits states from legalizing sports gambling (the law grandfathered any existing state laws that permitted gambling on sports, saving Las Vegas). Now, however, the New Jersey legislature is considering Bill 3493 that would legalize sports gambling in its Atlantic City casinos. Obviously this would mean big tourism dollars, which is one of the reasons the state is considering it.

Many are opposed to the bill, however, including the NFL and the NBA. Both sent representatives to a New Jersey hearing to express opposition to the bill. Said the NFL representative:
    "Athletes, coaches and referees would be the equivalent of cards, dice and slot machines if sports gambling were allowed in New Jersey," said Jay Moyer, NFL Special Counsel. "Sporting events should be appreciated for the athleticism and entertainment value, not as gambling devices. Legalizing betting on sports is the wrong message to send to younger sports fans," Moyer said.
Now, this could cause a chuckle. Professional sports long ago ceased to be about "athleticism and entertainment value." If this was all it was about, there would not be television time-outs every stoppage of play, nor advertisements plastered all over stadiums. Players became pawns in this a long time ago. Also, legalized gambling already exists in Las Vegas -- how does adding a few more casinos to the mix really change the message sent to young fans?

This does not address the legal argument, however. I will have to think about this some more, but at least one constitutional scholar thinks that PASPA is constitutional and that the New Jersey law would be struck down.
    "A court would almost certainly uphold PASPA as a valid exercise of federal power and a legal challenge to the federal legislation would very likely fail," stated Rutgers University Law Professor Bernard W. Bell at the committee meeting. "PASPA complies with the U.S. Constitution. It is undoubtedly a valid exercise of the Commerce Clause power, and it does not run afoul of either the Tenth Amendment or the equal protection guarantee of the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment."
Only one law review article has been written about this and it is by former Senator Bill Bradley (2 Seton Hall J. Sport L. 5). I am going to do some thinking on ways of challenging this; feel free to send along any suggestions. Of course, it seems unlikely that Congress will reverse PASPA after this past election. But it will be interesting to see if New Jersey passes this law anyway.

Update: The Sports Economist has an update on the proposed New Jersey law. A legislative panel approved the bill yesterday, pushing it one step closer to the voter referendum it would need to pass. TSE also offers some analysis as to a possible legal challenge to PASPA.





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With the trades and acquisitions made going into the draft, plus the bulk of the team that is carried over from last season, and the trades and draft picks made during the draft, it sure seems like the Pats are going to be the team to beat in the AFC this season, and perhaps in all of the NFL.

Considering the Pats were almost in the Superbowl last season with a pathetic receiving corps and that they've added very talented players into said receiving corps this season, barring some nasty injury(ies), they look to be the team to take it all.I say injury(ies) because I think they could survive an injury or two to some positions, but if they lost Brady they'd probably have a hard time recovering.


I wish I could say that the Redskins did well in the draft and/or in free agency but so many holes still exist that I'm not sure they'll be significantly better than last season. I suppose on face they should be if they can keep their corners healthy. With Landry (argh, hard to type that name as a Redskin!!) back there with a healthy secondary they might be able to cheat up more and put more pressure on opposing QBs. Might.

They still have what should be a lot of talent in the receiving positions, and Campbell should be better, but they don't have the quality on either line (offense or defense) that I wish they'd have, so it could be yet another year of .500 at best, or worse.

Still, the NFC East looks to be the NFC Least again this season. None of the teams there look like they'll be that good, and none really look ready to step up and take the division.

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With the trades and acquisitions made going into the draft, plus the bulk of the team that is carried over from last season, and the trades and draft picks made during the draft, it sure seems like the Pats are going to be the team to beat in the AFC this season, and perhaps in all of the NFL.

Considering the Pats were almost in the Superbowl last season with a pathetic receiving corps and that they've added very talented players into said receiving corps this season, barring some nasty injury(ies), they look to be the team to take it all.I say injury(ies) because I think they could survive an injury or two to some positions, but if they lost Brady they'd probably have a hard time recovering.


I wish I could say that the Redskins did well in the draft and/or in free agency but so many holes still exist that I'm not sure they'll be significantly better than last season. I suppose on face they should be if they can keep their corners healthy. With Landry (argh, hard to type that name as a Redskin!!) back there with a healthy secondary they might be able to cheat up more and put more pressure on opposing QBs. Might.

They still have what should be a lot of talent in the receiving positions, and Campbell should be better, but they don't have the quality on either line (offense or defense) that I wish they'd have, so it could be yet another year of .500 at best, or worse.

Still, the NFC East looks to be the NFC Least again this season. None of the teams there look like they'll be that good, and none really look ready to step up and take the division.

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