U.S. Solicitor General Urged to Back New Jersey Sportsbetting Bill

This story was published more than 3 years ago.

This week New Jersey politician Frank Pallone urged the U.S. Solicitor General to support the Garden State in its efforts to legalize sportsbetting within its borders.

Rep. Frank Pallone wrote a 14-page letter to Solicitor General Jeffrey Wall, where he laid out the state's case that the New Jersey sportsbetting bill challenges Congresses' power to compel the state to not offer the service under the anti-commandeering doctrine in the Tenth Amendment. New Jersey voters approved of sportsbetting within their borders. The state was sued by major professional sports leagues in federal court, where it's been dealt multiple judgments against it.

In his letter, Pallone wrote: "This case is about federalism, states' rights and sovereignty. The question presented to the Supreme Court is not about whether the state of New Jersey may authorize sports betting within its borders under PASPA, but instead to what extent can Congress compel or coerce New Jersey and other states under the anti-commandeering doctrine, which is bound up in the Tenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution."

"Adding insult to New Jersey's plight were statements made by the en banc court that the state misunderstood the guidance given to it by the lower courts or that the state had somehow not exhausted all of its options to take a course of action fitting inside 'the sufficient room [that is] under PASPA. The Third Circuit's frustration with the state of New Jersey for attempting twice to repeal state prohibitions against sports wagering is apparent in the court's opinion as well."

Thus far, five additional states have backed New Jersey's attempts to legalize sportsbetting, including Arizona, Louisiana, Mississippi, Wisconsin, and West Virginia.

New Jersey's case is currently sitting before the Supreme Court, who is deciding whether or not to hear the appeal this year.

Casino Listings will update this story as more developments arise.

About the author

Dustin Jermalowicz // News Editor
Dustin Jermalowicz
Dustin has a long-standing passion for gambling. He has been writing professionally on the subject and breaking industry news for Casino Listings since 2011. His favorite casino games include Blackjack, Poker, and Hi/Lo. A proud native of Detroit, Dustin currently lives in Michigan.