Much has been written about the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) and its possible repeal. To summarize, there are three possible outcomes. The first is that the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) rules PASPA is unconstitutional. In that case, it will be up to individual states to decide whether to allow sports betting and the various forms it might take. The second scenario is that SCOTUS lets PASPA stand in its current form. In this scenario it would be up to Congress to decide if it wants to repeal or amend PASPA. Given the current political climate in Washington D.C., passage of such a bill might take some time. The third scenario is that SCOTUS takes a completely different route, either issuing a partial repeal or
potentially invalidating the four state exemption that currently exists.
Should the Supreme Court rule in New Jersey’s favor, one can expect sports betting to be available in a number of jurisdictions in fairly short order. Five states, outside of the four that
already had legislation in place prior to the passage of PASPA in 1992, have already passed legislation authorizing sports betting, and approximately fifteen others are considering enabling legislation or studying the issue. The question now becomes, should PASPA be repealed, what are the challenges that America’s tribes face in creating sports betting products that are competitive with what various states with commercial casinos and lotteries will ultimately offer.