Anticipation is high and getting higher daily as seemingly the entire country awaits the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on New Jersey’s quest for sports betting. The Court heard oral arguments in the case, officially known as Christie v. National Collegiate Athletic Association, on Dec. 4. A ruling is expected no later than June.
Since that hearing there have been endless speculations by all manner of experts on how the Court might rule. But apparently many in state government think there is a good chance the Court’s decision will effectively negate the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 because sports betting bills are being introduced in state legislatures across the country and many more are expected this year.
Of course Nevada already has full blown sports betting, and Delaware, Montana and Oregon have some sports betting though not on individual games. Pennsylvania passed legislation last year that authorizes online poker and casino games and regulates daily fantasy sports. It also has language that would allow sports betting should that become legal. Connecticut also passed legislation last year that included provisions for sports betting as did Mississippi.
California, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, West Virginia, Maryland and New York each have pending legislation dealing with sports betting. Others considered likely to introduce bills this year are Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Georgia, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Louisiana and Mississippi.
Yes, there is a great deal of interest in sports betting. But apparently some state’s bills are better than others as the American Gaming Association has issued a statement of caution for Indiana, which has a provision that mandates sports betting operators pay sports leagues 20 percent – before the state receives its proceeds. The bill was introduced by Indiana State Representative Alan Morrison.
Geoff Freeman, president and CEO of AGA said: “While we applaud Representative Morrison’s efforts to bring legal, transparent sports betting to Indiana, handing sports leagues 20 percent of what’s left over after winnings are paid out, undercuts its economic viability. Doing so will ensure the illegal market continues to thrive in the state, and gut the tax revenues available to fund essential public services. We believe Indiana taxpayers deserve better.
“We encourage Indiana to reject this short-sighted, misinformed idea, which simply replaces a failed federal prohibition with bad state policy. Our goal is to eliminate the illegal market, protect consumers and strengthen the integrity of the game. We invite all stakeholders to join us in working together in a thoughtful and transparent fashion.”
GOING ONCE… Have you ever seen Jeff Ward’s Championship-winning “Works” 1985 Kawasaki SR250 up close? Ward, as you probably know, is an American Motorcycle Association Hall of Famer and MX/Supercross legend, and this SR250 is the very machine he rode when he won his and Kawasaki’s first Supercross National Championship in 1985.
If you’d like to see this bike, head out to South Point Jan. 23-27 for the 27th annual Mecum Las Vegas Motorcycle Auction where an estimated 1,750 antique, vintage and collectible motorcycles will cross the auction block. Even if you aren’t a potential bidder, you will still be able to share in the passion for the history, beauty and camaraderie among enthusiasts from around the world.
Other featured collections and offerings include a 1911 Flying Merkel Single, a five-time national championship-winning 1948 Vincent Rapide Series B Hillclimber, the first production bike built and sold by Eric Buell – a 1984 Buell RW750 – and much more.
Collectors expected to bring inventory include Tom Reese, Ray Hott, Bob Weaver, Jeff Schwartz, Roger Hanke and others.
You can get all the details on the consignments, buy general admission tickets and even register as a bidder online at Mecum.com.
See you around town.