HomePublicationsNewsletter ArchiveVolume 24Issue 11SPORTS WAGERING UPDATE: SUPREME COURT DECISION?

The United States Supreme Court’s decision in Christie v. National Collegiate Athletic Association (“NCAA”), the case challenging the constitutionality of the federal Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1982 (“PASPA”), could be issued as early as Monday, April 2.  Oral arguments were held in the case in December.  The Court’s session ends in June, and Monday of next week or alternatively April 30thare viewed as likely days that the decision could be released by various Supreme Court commentators.  People interested in monitoring the issuance of the Court’s opinion should visit http://www.scotusblog.com/ at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, April 2. An alternative source is the Court’s website https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/slipopinion/17.

In advance of the Court’s decision the gaming industry and sports leagues have been actively seeking to establish regulatory system in several key states.   As the legislative debate unfolds in states from New York to Kansas, the NBA and MLB have been actively advocating an “integrity fee” that would be paid to the leagues in connection with the authorization of legal sports wagering.  Initially the leagues were supporting a 1 percent fee, however, as the debate has evolved legislative proposals have seen a reduction in the fee to .25 percent.   Industry operators that would operate sports books are focused on the regulatory structure along with the overall wager tax rate.  Unlike other forms of wagering where the casino can establish the house advantage, sports wager offerings carry significantly more risk for the operator.   Therefore, if a state legalizes sports wagering, a different gaming tax structure will be required as the standard wagering tax established in most states would make the business model impractical.


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