The Supreme Court V. NFL

The Supreme Court will decide whether New Jersey can open a sportsbook.


National Football League owners are now facing the moment of truth in the league’s anti-gambling stance. The Supreme Court of the United States is going to take up New Jersey’s appeal of lower court judges’ denial of the state’s plan to establish a sports book and allow people to bet on NFL, NBA, NHL and Major League Baseball and Major League Soccer games. The NFL sued and blocked Delaware from operating a full sportsbook in 2009. The NFL continues to cite integrity issues as its anti-gambling stance.

New Jersey has been pushing for a sports book since 2011 when voters said yes to gambling on sports events at state sponsored sports books. The National Football League immediately sued and a court found that the New Jersey proposal ran afoul of the 1992 federal ban. The only states that can legally have sports gambling are Nevada, which has a full sports book, Delaware, Montana and Oregon. Delaware has a limited form of sports gambling as there is some action on football but it is not much, parley betting. The state’s three horse racing tracks and sports lottery retailers host the parley betting. Sports betting has been on the rise with the introduction of fantasy sports which really is gambling although sports organizations have partnerships with companies providing the services. It is action games of skill not betting. The New Jersey battle goes on but NFL owners are now backed into a corner. The owners have looked the other way in London, England where the league is trying to establish a fan base in that city loaded with legalized sports betting parlors and are embracing the $750 million in subsidies that Nevada is putting up to build a Las Vegas football facility for Mark Davis’ Raiders franchise to set up shop in 2020. The NFL’s anti-gambling and game integrity argument seems rather hollow.






There is money to be made by state governments if sports betting is legalized in 46 states.