Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992
|Long title||An Act to prohibit sports gambling under State law, and for other purposes.|
|Enacted by||the 102nd United States Congress|
|Effective||October 28, 1992|
|Statutes at Large||106 Stat. 4227|
|Titles amended||28 U.S.C.: Judiciary and Judicial Procedure|
|U.S.C. sections created||28 U.S.C. ch. 178 § 3701 et seq.|
The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (Pub.L. 102–559), also known as the Bradley Act, attempts to define the legal status of sports betting throughout the United States. This act effectively outlawed sports betting nationwide, excluding a few states.
The sports lotteries conducted in Oregon, Delaware, and Montana were exempt, as well as the licensed sports pools in Nevada. In addition, Congress provided a one-year window of opportunity from the effective date of PASPA (January 1, 1993) for states which operated licensed casino gaming for the previous ten-year period to pass laws permitting sports wagering. The latter exception was clearly crafted with New Jersey in mind. However, New Jersey failed to take advantage of this opportunity. Excluded from the reach of PASPA are jai alai and parimutuel horse and dog racing.
On June 26, 1991, the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Patents, Copyrights and Trademarks held public hearings on sports gambling. It found "(s)ports gambling is a national problem. The harms it inflicts are felt beyond the borders of those States that sanction it." David Stern, commissioner for the National Basketball Association testified, "The interstate ramifications of sports betting are a compelling reason for federal legislation." In light of these findings, Congress exercised its authority under the Commerce Clause to enact Senate Bill 474 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in 1992, codified at 28 U.S.C. § 3701. 
Legislative efforts against the act
In a widespread trend to legalize, regulate, and tax gambling to increase tax revenues, many states are trying to persuade the federal government to repeal PASPA. This effort has taken two forms: first to legislate in Washington for changes to PASPA, and second to introduce state laws that legalize sports betting knowing that they will trigger federal legal action.
New Jersey has been a leader, both in legislation and in the legal process, in support of the legalization of sports betting in New Jersey despite its original failure to take advantage of the carve out in the PASPA of 1992. The law is also known as the "Bradley Act", named for New Jersery Senator and former NBA star Bill Bradley. New Jersey voters in 2011 voted for a state constitutional amendment that would permit sports gambling. The next year, the NJ State Legislature enacted the Sports Wagering Act ("2012 Act"), allowing sports wagering at New Jersey casinos and racetracks.
Proponents of repeal typically assert that the law as written is inherently unconstitutional, as the Tenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution reserves to the states all rights not explicitly granted to the federal government—such as gambling regulation.
In March 2009, New Jersey State Senator Raymond Lesniak filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey claiming, among other things, that the PASPA unconstitutionally discriminated among the states by allowing four states to offer sports betting while disallowing the other forty-six states from enjoying the privilege. The case is pending before Magistrate Judge Torianne Bongiovanni. [needs update]
On Aug. 7, 2012, the National Collegiate Athletic Association, the National Basketball Association, the National Football League, the National Hockey League and Major League Baseball filed suit against New Jersey’s governor, director of the Division of Gaming Enforcement, and executive director of the Racing Commission after New Jersey amended its constitution. This case, heard in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, found for the sports leagues, leaving PASPA in place. New Jersey appealed the decision. On September 17, 2013, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, in a decision by Michael A. Shipp, found for the sports leagues, leaving PASPA in place.
In August 2016, five sports leagues, including the National Collegiate Athletic Association, prevailed in an en banc decision of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, which held that the earlier decision upholding PASPA was correct. New Jersey has appealed this case to the Supreme Court of the United States.
During the course of the presidential campaign, candidate Trump expressed his support for legalized sports betting. Trump appointee, acting Solicitor General Jeffrey B. Wall, said New Jersey didn't have a case.
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- Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992, Chuck Humphrey, Gambling Law US