November 17, 2016
By Geoff Pender
Mississippi and four other states have joined New Jersey’s fight to legalize sports betting in a brief filed with the U.S. Supreme Court.
Attorney General Jim Hood signed onto the brief submitted by West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, as did the attorneys general of Arizona, Louisiana and Wisconsin. New Jersey in October appealed a lower court’s ruling to the Supreme Court. The American Gaming Association also joined.
This is the second time New Jersey has appealed to the nation’s high court in its long-running battle against the NCAA and professional sports leagues in its efforts to have legal sports betting at casinos and race tracks. The Supreme Court declined to hear New Jersey’s appeal in 2014.
The brief Mississippi joined questions whether the federal Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act unfairly prohibits states — other than Nevada and several others “exempted” — from repealing existing laws banning sports wagering. This, the brief says, is in violation of the Tenth Amendment.
Whether states want to have sports betting or not, the brief says, the lower court’s decision in the New Jersey case “raises serious federalism concerns for all states” and “…threatens the balance of power between the states and the federal government.”
Hood’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Mississippi joining the case.