On Eve of Historic Supreme Court Arguments, Pallone Calls for Comprehensive Changes to Federal Gaming Laws
Oceanport, N.J. – Today at Monmouth Park, Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) called on the federal government to allow states to legalize sports betting and online gaming. In December, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in Christie v. NCAA. The case centers around a 1992 federal law entitled the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), which prohibits sports betting nationally with certain exceptions. Pallone filed an Amicus Brief with the Supreme Court in support of New Jersey’s case writing that PASPA is unconstitutional.
Congressman Pallone has also put forward a discussion draft of a comprehensive gaming bill, the Gaming Accountability and Modernization Enhancement Act, or GAME Act, which allows states to legalize sports betting and online gambling if appropriate consumer protections are also in place. The GAME Act is intended to remove the federal obstacles to legalized gambling at the state level. It does not create a federal framework for gambling and instead allows states that choose to legalize and regulate sports betting and/or online gambling to do so.
The draft would also allow for greater regulation and consumer protections for the daily fantasy sports industry. The proposal calls for basic consumer protections, including mechanisms for age and location verification; safeguards to protect privacy and data security of players; and recourse mechanisms for consumers.
“This is an issue of fairness. New Jersey, and every other state for that matter, should have the same opportunity to proceed with sports betting and online gaming that has been allowed in some states,” said Pallone. “The citizens of New Jersey overwhelmingly support legalized sports betting and acted in a referendum to show that support. Both Congress and the Supreme Court should respect these actions and allow places like Monmouth Park to take part in sports betting.”
In 2011, New Jersey residents supported a statewide referendum to amend the state constitution to authorize legislation allowing sports gambling. The state legislature subsequently enacted a bill that would allow sports betting at casinos in Atlantic City and at New Jersey racetracks.
Nationally, more than $5 billion in state and local tax revenue, and as many as 150,000 jobs, are being sacrificed as a result of illegal sports betting according to Geoff Freeman, the CEO and President of the American Gaming Association.
Monmouth Park spent $1 million to build the William Hill Sports Bar, which was designed with the idea of converting it into a sports wagering facility. Monmouth Park estimates legalized sports wagering would raise $1 million per week in revenue.
More information on the GAME Act can be found here.