Full Supreme Court press for sports gambling legalization

Full Supreme Court press for sports gambling legalization

September 12, 2017 3:03 AM


In late June, the United States Supreme Court agreed to hear arguments on whether or not sports betting should be allowed in New Jersey during its upcoming session that begins in October, with an expected decision in 2018. The state’s ongoing legal battle with the federal government has been difficult, and until the Court’s recent announcement, nothing but bad news for the Garden State.

There has been much giddiness and speculation in the gambling world since that decision, with the general theme being the Court wouldn’t have accepted the case if it didn’t think there was some merit to New Jersey’s position. That may or may not be the case, but the decision itself is something of a milestone as the Court bestows this honor on less than 2 percent of the petitions, according to Daniel Wallach, a gaming and sports law attorney at Becker & Poliakoff, so maybe Jersey’s luck really is turning around.

But don’t think New Jersey is alone in its fight. West Virginia filed a brief in support of the state and, according to legalsportsreport.com, has been joined by 19 more states. Then last week the American Gaming Association, the leading trade group of the $240 billion U.S. casino industry, joined in by filing an amicus brief with the Court.

In their brief the AGA outlined how the federal ban is fueling an illegal sports betting market estimated at $150 billion annually, and “prevents States and tribal sovereign governments states from repealing or amending laws that their citizens no longer support.”

Yes, Americans like to bet on sports. According to the AGA brief, “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.”

In fact, most of us don’t see anything wrong with betting on sports. An AGA-commissioned survey found that nearly six in ten Americans – and 72 percent of avid sports fans – are in favor of ending the federal ban.

And, if New Jersey prevails in opening the door to legalized sports betting, we have more to look forward to than a winning ticket. According to new research by Oxford Economics released earlier this year, legalizing sports betting in the United States would curb the illegal market while supporting up to 152,000 jobs, creating an estimated $26 billion in economic output and generating up to $5.3 billion in tax revenue.

It all sounds like a win-win situation. Let’s hope the Court agrees.

NIGHT OWLS take note: South Point sportsbook is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. So, no matter what your schedule, you can always get a bet down on your favorite team.

And what makes it even better is you are dealing with a real live person, not a machine, which means if you have a question you can get an answer. No other sportsbook in town offers these hours with this kind of service.

Michael Gaughan sure knows how to take care of his customers.

GREAT ACTION: Do you enjoy a good MMA fight? Then you definitely need to head to Mesquite this weekend to take in Mayhem XII at CasaBlanca on Saturday, where you will see the future stars of the octagon in action.

Tickets, just $12, are available at startickets.com. Doors open at 6 p.m., fights start at 7. Then stick around for the after party that beings at 10 p.m.

CHEERS TO BEERS! If you are in the downtown area this weekend, check out the Golden Nugget’s Beer Fest, Sept. 16-17, which will feature rare and unique beers, food and live entertainment.

You can get details and buy tickets at www.goldennugget.com. Five dollars from each full-price ticket will benefit The Animal Foundation.

CONGRATULATIONS to niece Rachel and husband Howard Hoover on the birth of their beautiful daughter Esther Phoebe, who checked in at 6:23 a.m., Sept. 8, weighing an impressive 8 pounds, 9 ounces.

Sister and brother Zelda, 8, and Samuel, 6, are very excited and looking forward to helping Mom and Dad hold and feed the new arrival.

See you around town.