The Supreme Court is preparing to make a ruling that could effectively open the doors to legalized sports gambling. In Christie v. NCAA, the court will decide whether a federal statute that requires states to prohibit sports gambling violates the anti-commandeering doctrine of the Tenth Amendment.

The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) prohibits state governmental entities from sponsoring, advertising, operating, promoting, licensing or authorizing by law any betting, gambling, or wagering scheme based on amateur or professional athletic events. Essentially, it operates to prohibit state-sanctioned gambling. The act includes exceptions for state-sponsored gambling in Nevada and sports lotteries in Delaware and Oregon. And, interestingly enough, it included an exception for New Jersey if New Jersey enacted a scheme within one year of PASPA’s enaction. New Jersey chose at that time not to enact a scheme.

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