Pennsylvania, New York Closely Monitoring NJ Sports Betting Case

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Pennsylvania and New York are the latest states to begin exploration of getting their fair share of the sports betting dollar. In addition, virtual sports betting is a potential new player in the industry.

States Pushing for Legalized Sports Betting
Single-game sports betting is legal only in Nevada with Delaware, Montana, and Oregon allowed to offer parlay card style wagering.

This sports betting prohibition is beginning to thaw with New Jersey at the vanguard of the industry revolution. At this point in time, the Garden State has taken their argument for allowing sports wagering in their racetracks and casinos to the Supreme Court, putting the federal ban to the test. Pennsylvania and New York will be watching the decision closely, as will other states wishing to take a bite out of the multibillion-dollar industry.

New York state senator Tony Avella has proposed a piece of legislation that would change the state constitution, allowing sports betting in their racetracks and casinos. The New York state assembly also has this legislation pending but these are just the formative steps to realizing the state constitutional change as it must be passed twice in both houses and then approved via a referendum by the voters. Though these bills move at a glacial pace, it is indeed the first step towards legitimizing sports betting in the Empire State.

Of course, the final battle would be fought at the federal level if New Jersey fails to succeed, which is overturning or bypassing the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA). This federal law is the bedrock which prohibits states from self-determination regarding the legalization of sports wagering. Pennsylvania has also joined the fray with state representative Rob Matzie pioneering the legislation in his state.

“Sports betting is a $400 billion business in the United States,” Matzie said. “Most of that betting takes place illegally, through bookies and off-shore wagering companies. This bill would position Pennsylvania’s casinos to be among the leaders in sports betting as soon as the legal hurdles are removed.”

Fortunately for those advocating the legalization of sports betting, the winds of change may be upon us as all of the major North American sports commissioners, with the exception of the NFL’s Roger Goodell, are warming to the idea of wagering on their sports. NBA commissioner Adam Silver was the first to render a positive stance towards the possibility of single-game wagering on the NBA outside of Nevada when he stated the following:

"It's good for business, I don't want to hide from that," Silver continued. "Putting aside whether or not we're actually actively involved in any of the betting, it creates more engagement. We all know as fans if you have, even like a gentleman's bet or a $5 bet with your friend on a game, all of a sudden you're a lot more interested."

Lastly, the Trump administration may be the panacea that sports betting advocates have been seeking. Unlike conservative Republicans, Trump has been personally involved in the casino business and has no moral objection to gambling on sports or otherwise. President Trump was contemplative when asked about abolishing the federal ban on sports betting as SBR reported recently.

“We wouldn’t do it lightly,” Trump said in an interview with Westwood One Radio on Super Bowl Sunday. “It will be studied very carefully. But I would want to have a lot of input from a lot of different people.”

Virtual Sports Betting
Unlike betting on games with actual athletes playing on professional sports franchises, there is a new game in town that resembles something you would see in a sports simulation running on your PS2 in the comfort of your living room as opposed to an actual game being played in front of thousands in an arena. It’s called virtual sports betting and though the names of the digital athletes are fictitious, the statistics on which they are based are not.

Instead of the blood, sweat, and tears, you see from professional athletes, these matchups would be determined by a computer algorithm and allow bettors to see what each team looks like on paper and have it played out on your computer. There would be no federal laws to hurdle as this does not come under the domain of PAPSA, as the players are not real. The Golden Nugget and Resorts of Atlantic City are already planning to offer this online, to New Jersey residents only, in just a few months’ time.

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