In today's SBR industry interviews program, SBR newswoman Natalie Rydstrom interviews Professor I. Nelson Rose, a renowned expert on US gambling law. Professor Rose's works can be read at GamblingAndTheLaw.com. In part one of the interview, Professor Rose shares his insight on the US gambling climate, political influences at play, and how he sees the stars aligning in this emerging market.
To start the interview, Professor Rose clears up a common misconception people have with respect to the federal government and gambling in the US: It is largely up to each state to craft legislation dealing with the issue of state-run gambling, provided existing federal legislation is adhered to.
The two key pieces of federal legislation dealing with sports betting and online gambling are The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) and the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA).
Under PASPA, land-based sportsbooks are limited to four US states — Nevada, Delaware, Oregon, and Montana.
The UIGEA prohibits internet gambling businesses from servicing US customers; the act also requires financial institutions to establish methods to identify and block transactions to known internet gambling companies.
Addressing PASPA, Professor Rose states: "The Obama administration gave a gift to the states two days before Christmas, that said basically the states can do anything they want with internet gambling as long as it’s intrastate. The one exception is sports betting, because we have another statute, the Professional & Amateur Sports Protection act which says that no state can legalize sports betting unless they already have it. Now that’s being challenged in court. It may even be challenged in practice in New Jersey."
Professor Rose was referring to New Jersey's motion to exempt itself from PASPA— Bill H.R. 3809, dubbed the “New Jersey Betting and Equal Treatment Act of 2012” seeks to amend federal law to remove New Jersey's restriction on offering professional and amateur sports gambing.
Congress extended states with existing gaming businesses the opportunity to opt out of the legislation in 1992, but most notably, New Jersey failed to act on this grace period, and so the chance was lost to open up sportsbooks in their existing casinos — something New Jersey is now attempting to do.
Stay tuned for part two of the SBR interview with Professor Rose, where this topic is expanded on more.
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