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Ifrah Law Submits Amicus Brief to U.S. Supreme Court in New Jersey Sports Betting Case, Christie vs. NCAA

In early September, Ifrah Law submitted an amicus brief to the United States Supreme Court in the case of Christie vs. NCAA, the New Jersey sports betting case whose outcome is expected to have a significant impact on the gaming industry in this country and upon the issues of states’ rights generally. Ifrah Law, along with the law firm Boies Schiller Flexner, filed the brief on behalf several trade associations, including firm client iDEA (iDevelopment and Economic Association), which are all committed to growing jobs in the gaming industry through rational regulation.

The brief challenges the constitutionality of the law called The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (“PASPA”), which outlaws sports betting in all of the states except four. We argue that the Act violates the concept of equal sovereignty, a principle which has been integral to our country’s fundamental values since its founding. By allowing four states only to permit sports betting, Congress overstepped its authority by regulating an activity that had previously been the sole purview of the states, and it did so in a way that was capricious and unfair. Without any justifiable reason for this disparate treatment, some states were allowed to reap an unfair advantage by being able to grow their betting businesses, while others were denied this opportunity.

Our brief also argues that the law fails to achieve the Congressional objective of curtailing the negative community impacts of sports betting and is not even rationally related to this goal nor to safeguarding the integrity of professional sports. In fact, as demonstrated by the experience of iDEA’s members and academic research on the economic impact of gaming, this industry is expanding in many positive ways, aided by the revolutions in online technology. It is our position that all states seeking ways to broaden their revenue and employment opportunities should be free to welcome this burgeoning industry.

Click here to download the brief.