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Battle to legalize sports betting in America

Ⓒ AFP – Brendan Smialowski – | New Jersey Governor Chris Christie came to the Supreme Court on Monday, December 4, to put his weight behind the approval of sports betting in his state.

The Americans may have invented slot machines and giant casinos, they are banned sports betting in 46 of their 50 states: the Supreme Court on Monday considered whether to abolish this rule, an issue of tens of billions of dollars. dollars.

In the courtroom was a very active former supporter of Donald Trump’s election campaign, Chris Christie, the Republican governor of New Jersey.

For years, Mr. Christie has been fighting for the right to organize sports betting in his state whose casinos, economically damaged, are concentrated in Atlantic City.

The courts inflicted systematic setbacks on it, relying on a 1992 law that banned betting on professional or academic sports, except in four states where they already existed: Nevada, Delaware, Montana and Oregon .

Congress had adopted this legislation in the belief that betting would threaten the integrity of sports events.

The text was championed by Senator Bill Bradley, a former basketball star, in the name of youth protection.

– Corruption of youth? –

“The sports betting under the aegis of the States would convey the message that, in the sport, the money is more important than the surpassing of oneself and the sporting spirit”, had asserted the elected democrat.

The four major sports federations, the NFL (American football), the NBA (basketball), the MLB (baseball) and the NHL (ice hockey) also supported these restrictions.

At the time Donald Trump, faced with the financial difficulties of his gambling establishments in Atlantic City, had campaigned against this law, considering that sports bets could offer him a lifesaver.

The Supreme Court hearing on Monday between two tenors of the Washington Bar, who debated an issue over two centuries old in America: how to delineate what is state and what is federal power, by definition preeminent?

The government was given ten minutes to defend the federal rule.

Trump found himself in the same camp as the NFL, an irony in itself knowing the recent passing of arms between the professional football league and the president, furious that some players refuse to stand when it sounds. ‘National anthem.

– Manna to seize –

In Christie’s camp, it is hoped that pragmatism will prevail, while gambling via casinos and lotteries are already well established throughout the United States.

“Sports bets exist, (but) they are illegal,” said New Jersey lawyer Theodore Olson, lamenting that the state “can not regulate this activity.”

Illegal sports betting now represents a $ 150 billion annual market, according to the American Gaming Association.

A manna that makes salivating not only New Jersey, but also 18 states that dream of rushing into the gap, if it is created.

Public revenues, in terms of licenses and taxes, promise indeed to be juicy.

Christian and Muslim religious groups do not want them to hear about it and have made arguments to the court.

Behind the blocking on the principles, in fact the lines move: well aware of the monetary stakes, the American sports federations appear less and less opposed to the paris sports.

In November 2014, Adam Silver, the NBA’s Commissioner General, published a forum for a complete turnaround on the issue.

The Supreme Court will make its decision in the first half of next year.

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