New Jersey Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. has backed the Garden State’s bid to overturn a federal law that blocks most states from authorizing sports betting.
NJ.com reported that Pallone, the top Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, filed a brief with the US Supreme Court to defend New Jersey’s plea to legalize sports betting.
Pallone, who has spearheaded legislation allowing states to legalize sports betting, told the Court that the federal ban was in violation of the 10th Amendment’s grant of powers to the states.
“By ordering New Jersey to maintain prohibitions on sports gambling that its state legislature has considered and repealed before, Congress is coercing the State of New Jersey to govern according to Congress’s instructions,” Pallone argued.
Pallone isn’t the only one throwing support behind New Jersey this week.
The American Gaming Association (AGA) has weighed in on the side of the Garden State when it submitted its separate brief before the Court.
In its 26-page amicus brief, the influential group zeroes in on the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), passed in 1992, that prohibits states from allowing sports betting. They claimed that it “prevents States and tribal sovereign government states from repealing or amending laws that their citizens no longer support.”
Furthermore, the AGA argued that the federal ban has had “the perverse effect of pushing an enormous market underground by way of federal decree while stamping out state and local efforts to adapt their own laws pursuant to their own citizens’ wishes.”
The AGA pointed out that the ban should be blamed for the proliferation of illegal gambling in the states.
“The [association] estimates that Americans illegally bet over $150 billion per year on U.S. sporting events. Earlier this year, Americans bet an estimated $15 billion on the Super Bowl and NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament alone, and 97% of those bets were made illegally,” the group’s brief reads.