The past election has been one of the craziest in recent memory. Legalized sports betting isn’t a mainstream issue for most voters, but there has been plenty of talk over the past few years about sports betting regulation and making changes to PASPA.
Trump’s win is certainly better for the prospects of sports betting becoming liberalized nationally compared to Clinton, but are the odds that much better? It’s tough to say.
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As a casino owner in Atlantic City, Trump stated that regulating sports betting was “vital to putting the bookies out of business.” He’s also shown interest in online poker, announcing that he and hedge fund manager Marc Lasry would invest in an online gambling company back in 2011, once the activity became legal federally. However, as we know, that legislation never came.
At least half of Americans favored legalized sports betting. New Jersey Congressman Frank Pallone is expected to introduce legislation federally that would expand sports betting to states outside of Nevada, Delaware, and Montana. His bill likely would allow states to opt in or opt out of legalized sports betting.
New Jersey’s long fight for legalizing sports betting will have to be heard once again at the country’s highest court, but they have received more support in the last few weeks. Five states have asked the United States Supreme Court to accept New Jersey’s request. Led by West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrissey, several other states have endorsed his brief, including Louisiana, Mississippi, Arizona, and Wisconsin.
The tides seem to be turning for sports betting regulation. Trump has billed himself as a president who will “drain the swamp” and upend the status quo. He’s been quite favorable to gaming expansion in the past as a private citizen, but who knows what his stance on the subject is today.
New Jersey Governor, Chris Christie, was once thought to be a strong candidate for a cabinet position, is now on the outs with Trump’s transition team. His appointment to any cabinet position, most notably, Attorney General, would have possibly helped move sports betting regulate on along faster.
However, Trump may do enough on his own to get the ball rolling. If his stance on sports betting is the same as it was decades ago, we can expect positive movement towards dismantling PASPA or amending it. Trump is the best hope for sports betting regulation in a long time, but real changes could still be years away.