Occam's Razor and Sports Wagering Law
Harvard Journal on Sports and Entertainment Law, Forthcoming
4 Pages Posted: 3 Sep 2015
Date Written: January 25, 2015
On January 14, 2015, New Jersey, Governor Chris Christie, filed his most recent brief (“Christie II”) to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in the state’s continued attempt to offer sports wagering within their borders. In New Jersey’s first attempt to offer sports gambling (“Christie I”) at casinos and racetracks, the state argued that the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (“PASPA”) violated the anti-commandeering protections of the Tenth Amendment, the equal sovereignty principles of the commerce clause, and that the plaintiff sports leagues lacked Article III standing. The Third Circuit was unmoved by these arguments and ruled in favor of the quintet of sports leagues, and intervenors United States. Contained within the Third Circuit’s decision was a footnote stating that “PASPA’s legislative history is clear as to the purpose behind its own exemptions…” This otherwise innocuous statement may represent a material error in the Third Circuit’s reasoning, because the Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision authored by Justice Stevens, seemingly came to a different conclusion in 1999.
Keywords: Government regulation, federalism, sports betting, gambling, gaming law, fantasy sports, professional leagues, NCAA, PASPA, standing, rights to games, legislative history
JEL Classification: K00, K10, K19, K20, K23, K29, K30, K39, K40, K49, L50, L59, L80, L83, L89
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation